1. Make sure your smoke alarms are working
Smoke alarms are one of the most important tools in detecting a fire in your home or office, and should be maintained regularly. A smoke alarm should be placed on every level of your property, as well as in the kitchen and in each bedroom. Alarms should be replaced every ten years, or sooner if they stop working. To make sure that they are in a good working order, test the alarm every month.
2. Devise a safety plan
Comprise a plan of your home or office and discuss with your family or colleagues the best way to escape the building in the event of a fire. When a fire occurs, you will have only minutes to escape the building and escort everyone to a safe place, and your safety plan will need to be quick and efficient. You could practice the safety plan regularly, so all members of your household or business know what to do if an emergency occurs. Designate a safe area outside, away from the home, where family members or colleagues can meet once they have escaped the building. Display a laminated copy of the plan in your home or office.
3. Practice safe smoking practices
If a member of your household smokes, it may be best if they do it outside, minimising the risk of a fire. Cigarettes should be placed in ashtrays once the smoker has finished, and they should light their cigarette using a lighter on a low flame. For extra safety, cigarettes can be extinguished in sand or water. Remember that someone smoking inside the home can pose a significant safety risk if they fall asleep with the cigarette in their hand. Any matches or lighters should be stored in a safe place around the home, away from young children. Consider teaching your children about the dangers of lighters and matches.
4. Keep safe in the kitchen
To reduce the likelihood of a kitchen fire, never leave cooking unattended. Consider tying long hair back and rolling up sleeves so they don’t catch fire when cooking over a hot stove. Kitchen surfaces should be cleaned regularly to prevent any grease from building up. A fire extinguisher should be kept in both a home kitchen and office kitchen, and all members of your household or business should know how to operate this piece of equipment in the event of a fire. Like smoke alarms, fire extinguishers should also be regularly maintained to ensure they are in a good working order. Remember to always be vigilant. If an electrical device has an unusual smell, or you notice smoke, unplug it immediately and have the device repaired.
Jason Kidd works for www.firesafetystore.co.uk, Online fire safety and protection retailer based in the UK. Jason has many years experience working within the fire safety industry.
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