Unfortunately your home is the place where accidents are most likely to occur. Everyone should be aware of the dangers in the home so that accidents can be avoided. The purpose of this information sheet is to raise awareness of the type of accidents that may occur in the home and what steps you can take to prevent them.
Fires can start suddenly and spread quickly, damaging your home and furniture and putting lives in danger. They are caused in a variety of ways, but there are a few simple hints you can follow to prevent them starting.
- Keep all fires and heaters well guarded, especially open fires. For fitted or portable heaters with a built in guard, give extra protection by adding a surrounding guard particularly if you have young children or older people in the home. For children, use a nursery guard with side clips that fit into fixed wall brackets
- Keep portable heaters and candles away from furniture and curtains. Position safely where they cannot be knocked over
- Don’t dry or air clothes over or near the fire, or the cooker
- Do not smoke in bed
- Many fires start in the kitchen, especially fat fires. Never leave a pan unattended when deep fat frying and watch for overheating. For safer frying use oven chips or a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer
- If there are children around, keep matches and lighters well out of reach
- Fit approved smoke detectors on each floor. Choose a smoke alarm that is mains operated or one with a long life (ten year) battery
- Plan your escape route. Remember Get out, stay out and call the fire brigade out!
- Many accidents and fatalities involve electricity – it must be treated with respect. Here are some tips.
- Have your wiring installation checked at least once every five years by an approved contractor, or straightaway if you are buying an older property
- Do not use appliances with worn or damaged flexes. Don’t wire flexes together.
- Keep portable mains-operated appliances out of the bathroom
- Have electric blankets serviced and checked regularly
- If an appliance appears faulty stop using it and have it checked at once
- Consider having a RCD (residual current device) for whole house protection. These are especially valuable when power tools are used
- Look for the CE mark when you buy electrical equipment
- Never overload an electric socket.
Source: RoSPA The Home Safety Book Ref: HS 178 (this can be purchased in the RoSPA online shop).
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