Six tips to keep you and your property safe
Darker nights mean we are more likely to light a few candles, especially around the festive season. And the cold snap means the fire gets lit more frequently.
But winter fire incidents are on the rise according to analysis of government data by ADT UK Subscriber, putting both people and properties at risk.
Michele Bennett, general manager at the home service and maintenance firm, said: “As temperatures drop, and people begin lighting fires and candles, it is important to ensure that you are being safe and avoiding any potential fire risks.
“With this in mind, we have offered our top tips on how to keep safe in winter.”
1. Be careful when using open fires and log burners
Open fires can quickly become out of control if not watched carefully. It is important to keep an eye on fires to ensure that the fire does not become larger than it should be. It is also essential to make sure that all embers are extinguished completely before going to bed at night. This stops any chances of fires restarting.
It is also highly recommended that homeowners fit fireguards around fires where naked flames are present, especially if they have children in the house.
If you plan to use an open fire or log burner, it is vital that you have your chimney or flue swept and clean, especially if it has been a while since it was last used. Not cleaning your chimney can lead to an increased risk of chimney fires and the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
2. Ensure home safety alarms are in working order
Ensure your smoke alarms are working properly to alarm you and your family if a fire were to occur.
You should test your smoke alarms regularly to ensure they’re in good condition and protect you from the risk of a fire.
3. Place your heaters in safe areas
Make sure that your heaters are kept in safe areas of the home, away from curtains and furniture. It is important to unplug electric heaters when you go out or go to bed.
Use a heater with a thermostat control that will switch off when a room gets to a desired temperature and will avoid the heater itself getting too hot.
Alternatively, plug your heater into a smart plug where you can schedule the times at which it comes on and switches off, smart plugs can also be controlled from your mobile phone.
4. Take care when lighting candles
Ensure that candles aren’t in reach of children and can not accidentally knock them over or touch them.
It is also important that you extinguish them before leaving the home or going to bed.
5. Make sure rooms are well ventilated
Gas and paraffin heaters consume oxygen when they are on, so it is essential that you only use them in well-ventilated areas. If used in a room with no airflow, there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be deadly.
It is also important to have empty cylinders collected regularly, and stored outside until they can be collected.
6. Check your lights
As the nights get darker, many people may begin to use artificial lighting such as fairy lights. Electrical fires can spark from faulty wiring or overloaded outlets, so be sure to check the wiring and inspect all bulbs for any looseness or damage.
Use low-voltage LED fairy lights, as LEDs are not only long-lasting, but they will also help you to save money on your energy bills.