Fire safety

Fire safety is very important and we have invested heavily to make sure all our homes and schemes meet strict fire safety regulations. You can help stay safe by reading the tips below and by understanding what to do in case of a fire.

  • If a fire alarm goes off or you see or smell a fire then you should follow the evacuation procedure for your building. If you live in a house or bungalow with direct access to the outside, you should get out and stay out. You should always stay safe and act as quickly as possible
  • Try to remember to stay calm and not to panic
  • Do not try to put the fire out, unless you know how to use the fire extinguishing equipment and it is safe to do so, and do not grab any of your belongings on your way out
  • If there is smoke then get down on your hands and knees where the air is clearer
  • Once you are outside get a safe distance from the house and ring 999.

What if I can’t get out?

  • If a fire blocks your normal exit route from a building then try to find another way out
  • Use the stairs and not a lift
  • If you cannot get out through a door or window then you should find a room without any smoke in it and close the door
  • Stay as low as possible to avoid the smoke
  • Put something like a wet/damp towel or clothes behind the door to stop any smoke coming through the gap under the door
  • If you have a mobile phone then ring 999
  • Try to let people know you are there by shouting
  • If your clothes catch fire remember to stop, drop and roll.

Remember! Fires in the home are very rare but the effects can be devastating. It is important to take care in your home and reduce the risks by following some of the helpful hints listed opposite. You could also check out our article on home contents insurance on page three. We encourage all our customers to take out home contents insurance should the worst ever happen.

Smoke alarms

We follow building regulation requirements, and install smoke alarms and heat detectors where appropriate in your property. The batteries in the smoke alarms and heat detectors are checked annually by the Group, however, we would ask that you take the time to test them regularly yourself - this literally takes a matter of minutes and could save your life.

Cooking

  • The most likely place for a fire to start in your home is in the kitchen. Below are some handy tips to keep you safe:
  • When you are cooking make sure that you never leave the kitchen unattended
  • Make sure that towels are away from open flames and the cooker
  • Keep your oven and grill clean as fat and bits of food can catch fire
  • Check you have turned everything off when you have finished cooking
  • We recommend you do not use a chip pan as they are very dangerous and are a major cause of incidents.

Smoking

If you can, try to smoke outside so you are not at risk of creating a fire. Most of the fires inside the home are caused by a discarded cigarette that hasn’t been put out properly. If you must smoke in your home, there are some simple tips that will help keep you safe.

  • Never smoke in bed - if you need to lie down, do not smoke. If you fall asleep with a lit cigarette, you could set fire to your bed
  • Take extra care when you’re tired, taking any medicine or have been drinking alcohol
  • Always make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished
  • Never leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe unattended
  • Always use a strong heavy, ashtray that can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn
  • Do not empty your ashtray straight into a bin, add a drop of water to make it safe, then leave it to cool down fully.

Candles

Candles, particularly scented ones, are becoming an increasingly popular way to create a relaxed and tranquil home environment, however they are also an open flame and a potential fire hazard if not carefully monitored. If you do use candles, please do not light misshapen or damaged ones, as they will not burn properly and could present a risk of fire. Never leave a burning candle unattended.

  • Always place your candles on a sturdy, non-flammable, holder in sizes appropriate for the candles.
  • Consider the use of hurricane lamps that contain the candle within it, or perhaps change to an artificial flameless one and/or one of the lovely reed diffusers which offer a practical and long-lasting home fragrance option instead.

Further advice about candle safety can be found at www.fireservice.co.uk/ safety/candles/

Fixed and portable electric fires/heaters

Electric fires and heaters are generally very safe and if used properly should not cause any safety concerns. Here are some tips to help you stay safe when using any portable heaters:

  • Never leave any form of fire or heating on when you go to bed or leave the house
  • Never attempt to move any portable fire or heating appliance when it is switched on
  • Do not stand too close as you could risk your clothes catching fire
  • Always keep your fire/heater clean and well maintained
  • Do not place any fire/heater close to furniture or soft furnishing (bedding/curtains)
  • Consider using oil filled appliances as they tend to be safer and more economical than bar or fan heaters.

Remember! We work very hard to maintain the highest levels of safety in your home but we need to work together to ensure that your home is a safe place for you and your family to live. Please help us to help you by following the handy hints and top tips provided in this article and by always allowing us access to your home to carry out any safety tests and checks.