As a homeowner it is your responsibility to do as much as you can to protect your home from fire. As well as regularly checking your smoke alarms it’s also a good idea to have a proper understanding of all the potential fire risks around your home.
Where are the most likely places for fires to start?
The most likely place for a fire to start is undoubtedly the kitchen. The main culprit is the oven, especially when you have a gas hob. However, an electric hob can be just as dangerous if left unattended, even for a short time. Never leave pans, especially frying pans, unattended when you're cooking.
Other appliances in the kitchen that can catch fire if you’re not careful include the toaster but it’s important to recognise that all electrical equipment is a potential fire hazard and must be kept in good repair. Kitchen fires can happen in the blink of an eye and, if they’re not dealt with properly, can quickly get out of control. It’s all too easy to get distracted by a phone call or something on the TV, but when you’re cooking food in the kitchen, you really must remain focused at all times.
Most common causes of house fires
Whenever you have an open flame inside your home, you’re at risk. However the main causes of house fires are:
- Faulty Electrical equipment
Smoking in your home is not only hazardous to your health, it can also cause a fire. Smoking in bed is one of the most common ways that house fires start. You’re also at risk if you leave a burning cigarette unattended in the ashtray.
When used correctly candles should be fairly safe. However, you should never leave a candle burning when you’re not in the room. Candles should be kept a safe distance from anything flammable such as your curtains and wooden furniture. You should also make sure nothing is directly above your candle before you light it.
Fire Safety Measures
Never leave pans, cigarettes or candles unattended when in use - they are the most common causes of house fires.
Always ensure you have an appropriate number of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors positioned around your home and remember to test them regularly.
Don’t overload your electrical sockets as this can spark a fire, and ensure you position any portable heating or cooking appliances a safe distance from your furnishings and other flammable items.
It goes without saying that prevention is better than cure but you should always plan for the worst. Make sure everyone in your household is aware of the logical escape routes you will use in the event of a fire and, because you can’t predict where the fire will be, always include alternative routes.