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How to prevent fires at home

Here are the best ways to prevent fires at home Photo: PA

IN THE KITCHEN:

  • Fires in the kitchen account for 59% of accidental fires, according to West Midlands Fire Service
  • Take pans off the heat or turn the hobs down if you are called away from cooking.
  • Avoid cooking if drinking alcohol
  • Do not fill a chip pan or deep-fat fryer more then one third full of oil
  • If a pan catches fire never put water on it as it will create a fireball
  • Make sure fat and grease does not build up on cookers, flammable
  • Never put anything metal in the microwave or run it without anything inside

CANDLES:

  • Keep candles within your sight at all times
  • Never burn candles near anything flammable
  • Trim the wicks of candles to 1/4 inch before burning
  • Keep candles away from drafts, air conditioning vents and fans
  • Never burn a candle all the way to the end of the wick, put it out with a snuffer instead

IF YOU LIVE IN RENTED ACCOMMODATION - LANDLORD OBLIGATIONS:

  • People living in rented accommodation are seven times more likely to have a fire according to West Midlands Fire Service
  • Your landlord must meet certain safety obligations including ensuring gas and electric appliances are safe and working
  • Gas appliances must be checked by a registered fitter
  • Electrical appliances have the British Safety Standard sign
  • Your landlord must supply a carbon monoxide detector and test it regularly

WHEN USING CHIMNEY FIRES:

  • Smokeless fueled fires should be swept once a year to reduce soot build up
  • Coal fueled fires should be swept twice a year
  • Wood fires every three months
  • Oil fires once a year
  • Gas fires once a year

CARBON MONOXIDE:

A colourless, odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas, produced when carbon-based fuels do not burn properly. It is caused by gas appliances that have not been properly installed and maintained.

Symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness

ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES:

  • Keep appliances clean and in good working order and always turn them off when not using (especially hair straighteners)
  • Never use electric heaters to dry clothes and never keep them near furniture
  • Make sure leads are not trailing over cookers
  • Never leave cables under carpets as they can wear down the leads
  • An overloading socket calculator can be found here

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