Fire & Rescue, Fire Safety
As the cost of living continues to soar across the UK, with one in four UK households living in fuel poverty, the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) are urging people to take fire safety precautions in the home to stay safe.
The advice comes as part of NFCC’s national Home Fire Safety Week – held between June 13th and 19th – which aims to keep people safer from fire in their homes.
NFCC is concerned that people may put themselves at additional risk as the cost of living increases and are encouraging everyone to take a few simple steps to reduce the risk of fire in a home by not to taking additional risks and to be alert to how simple measures could save lives and reduce injuries.
The week of action is supported by fire and rescue services across the UK and covers a range of areas, such as electrical safety, the dangers of illegal cigarettes and the offer of home safety fire checks. This year’s campaign will also highlight how fire and rescue services use an approach which puts people at the heart of their work to reduce fires in the home.
Older relatives and neighbours could be vulnerable and at a higher risk in the home and would benefit from a ‘safe and well’ visit from their fire and rescue service. These can unlock vital safety help, advice and solutions, while offering help from a range of organisations.
In 2020/21 although smoking materials caused only 8% of fires, they resulted in 32% of accidental dwelling fire fatalities in England. This means smokers’ materials are the largest ignition category for fire deaths in accidental fires.
We know that all smoking means increased fire risk, but illegal products can present a greater fire risk. Legally produced and sold cigarettes must conform to standards of reduced ignition propensity.
Don’t be tempted to save money by buying cheaper electrical products online or from social media sites. They may not meet safety standards and can be a fire risk.
Help make sure the electrical products in your home are safe by buying from reputable retailers and known brands. You can check for and sign up for product safety alerts and recalls here.
Also, electricity costs the same no matter what time of day or night you use it – unless you have a time of use tariff. If possible don’t run white goods and charge items while you sleep. You might not be saving money, but you will increase the risk of fire.
As we head into summer, you may be looking to spend time cooking al-fresco. It’s vital barbecues and camping stoves must only to be used outdoors and not brought inside even if the weather takes a turn for the worst! Never risk bringing them indoors to cook or for warmth as if used indoors they can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
The NFCC has warned many people may have put off annual gas services to save money. Servicing can prevent gas leaks, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. It can also prevent costly repair bills and help appliances run efficiently. If you can, book your service now.
If you are using portable heaters or electric blankets to keep warm inside, make sure they are in good working order, not subject to any recalls and used correctly. Appliances such ovens, hobs and outdoor heaters should not be used to keep a room warm. This can increase fire risk and using fuel burning appliances, such as gas cookers like this can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted and only use appliances for their intended purpose.
For further information on tips to keep your home and family safe from fire or carbon monoxide, take the NFCC’s home fire safety check online to spot and reduce potential risks around your home.