Have you spotted a fire safety hazard?

When you’re out and about do you ever spot a potential hazard? A fire door propped open with a fire extinguisher? A blocked fire exit? An overloaded electrical socket?

Why not take a photograph and send it to www.firescout.co.uk?

This is a website that has been set up to collect images of potential fire risks and potential dangers. It aims to encourage people to consider what measures they might take to make their homes or businesses safer.

The site doesn’t ask you to say where the picture was taken, it’s not about naming and shaming, just raising awareness. Each image is rated for how dangerous it is and whether it breaks the law. It also assesses how much it would cost to put right. Usually nothing.

Take a look. What you see might just make you think.

Getting ready for winter

The Met Office has set up a website entitled ‘Getting Ready for Winter’ offering advice and guidance covering staying warm and well, travel, protecting the home and helping in the community.

Its safety advice for the home offers the following guidelines:

  • Make sure you have a smoke alarm on every floor of your house.
  • People with open fires should ensure their chimneys are swept. Always use a fireguard and make sure the fire is out properly when you leave or go to bed.
  • Portable heaters must be kept away from curtains and furniture and shouldn’t be used for drying clothes. Always unplug electric heaters before going to bed.
  • If you have an electric blanket do not use a hot water bottle even if the blanket is switched off. Unplug blanket before going to bed, unless they have a thermostatic control and are designed to be left on all night.
  • Don’t leave lit candles unattended. They should be secured in a proper holder away from materials that could catch fire such as curtains.
  • Take time to check on older relatives and neighbours, Make sure they are warm and safe this winter and have smoke alarms fitted.

* The Met Office is the UK’s National Weather Service. It employs more than 1,800 people at 60 locations throughout the world, and is recognised as one of the world’s most accurate forecasters, using more than 10 million weather observations a day, It is now working with the NHS to provide information on how the weather affects hospital admissions and helping them manage workloads. It is also helping people with certain medical conditions, advising them when the weather could affect their health, helping them to stay healthy and out of hospital.

Keeping your home and family safe from fire

Domestic fires can happen incredibly quickly and have a very serious effect on your life. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that everyone in your family is acutely aware of the aware of dangers of fire and knows how to prevent and, if need be, escape from a fire.

Thankfully, installing basic safety measures in your home and using common sense can help you and your family to stay safe, even in the event of a fire.

Fire prevention
As with many other aspects of life, prevention is always preferable to cure. Happily, there are several things you can do to help prevent a fire in your home. First and foremost, you should get heat or smoke alarms installed, especially in your kitchen and bedrooms. You should also make sure that you have suitable fire extinguishers at hand and that everyone in your family knows how to use them. If you have small children in your home, keep items like matches and lighters well out of the reach of their curious hands.

Fire awareness
You must encourage your family to be aware of the potential fire dangers that can exist in your home. For example, you should: never overload a mains outlet or use more than one multi-plug in a socket. Make sure panhandles are facing inward when on the hob so that they do not get knocked over. Always be super-cautious with flammable liquids and make sure they remain locked up somewhere far away from your children. Keep a look out for electrical wires that have been worn out and immediately replace any that you may find. Obviously, this list is far from exhaustive – however, the important thing is to ensure you and your family are always vigilantly aware of the potential fire dangers that may occur in your home.

Fire evacuation
The most important thing to remember if you find yourself caught in a fire is not to panic. If the fire is relatively small then try to put it out with a suitable extinguisher. If the fire is large (or is spreading); call 999, get down low and use your family’s exit plan to try and get outside. If you can, cover your face with a cloth or towel so that you don’t breath in too much smoke. If you encounter a hot doorknob – do not open the door. A hot doorknob usually indicates that fire is present on the other side of the door. Instead, move away from the door and find an alternative way to exit the house.

By employing suitably preventative measures, remaining vigilantly aware and knowing exactly what to do in an emergency, you can help to ensure your family will remain as safe from the risk of fire as it is possible to be.

Explore our pages further to find out more and view our domestic fire safety products in greater detai

Squirrels, cute and cuddly or serious contributers to house fires?

A Surrey pest control company, Cleankill Pest Control, has warned home owners to be vigilant for signs of squirrel infestation in lofts.

This rodent finds its way into loft spaces and makes nests there, chewing through electrical cables and roof joists. The company warns that squirrels are very determined rodents and once they have earmarked a loft for nest building are very difficult to evict.

The company claims that March is the onset of a surge of calls to help deal with squirrel infestations in their area. If there are squirrels in your neighbourhood, look for any signs of nesting. Damaged electrical cables can cause a fire, resulting not only in damage to the property but also endangering lives.

To read the full story follow this link: http://www.info4fire.com/news-content/full/squirrels-to-blame-for-serious-house-fires