Heat your home safely

Heat Your Home Safely This Winter

As the winter chill sets in, we all yearn for a warm and cosy home. While heating appliances are essential during this season, it’s crucial to prioritise fire safety to ensure that your winter wonderland doesn’t turn into a disaster zone. In this blog post, we’ll explore practical tips and guidelines to help you heat your home safely this winter.

1. Inspect and Maintain Heating Appliances

Before firing up your heating appliances, conduct a thorough inspection to ensure they are in good working condition. Regular maintenance, including cleaning and servicing, is vital to prevent potential fire hazards. Replace any worn-out parts; if you notice any issues, contact a professional technician.

2. Install and Test Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are your first line of defence against fire emergencies. Ensure you have working smoke alarms installed in key areas of your home, such as bedrooms and hallways. Test them regularly and replace batteries at least once a year. We recommend testing fire alarms every week to make sure they are in working condition. If your alarms are more than ten years old, it’s time to replace them.

3. Use Space Heaters with Caution

Space heaters are convenient for targeted heating, but they pose fire risks if not used properly. Keep space heaters at least three feet away from flammable materials such as curtains, furniture, and bedding. Turn them off when you leave the room or sleep, and avoid using extension cords to power them.

4. Practice Fireplace Safety

If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, ensure it’s clean and well-maintained. Use a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room, and never leave a fire unattended. Dispose of ashes in a metal container, and store them away from flammable materials.

5. Be Mindful of Electrical Appliances

Overloaded circuits and faulty wiring can lead to electrical fires. Avoid overloading outlets, and if you notice any electrical issues, address them immediately. Consider consulting with an electrician to ensure your home’s electrical system can handle the additional load from heating appliances.

6. Educate Your Family on Fire Safety

Ensure everyone in your household is aware of fire safety practices. Create and regularly practice a fire escape plan, designating a meeting point outside the home. Teach family members how to use fire extinguishers and emphasise the importance of staying calm in case of an emergency.

7. Invest in a Carbon Monoxide Detector

Heating appliances, especially those fueled by gas, can produce carbon monoxide, an odourless and colourless gas that can be deadly. Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home, preferably near sleeping areas. Test it regularly to ensure it’s functioning correctly. Find our link to the carbon monoxide detectors that we offer, HERE.

As you embark on creating a warm and inviting home this winter, make fire safety a top priority. By following these guidelines and staying vigilant, you can enjoy a cosy and secure winter season. Remember, it only takes a few precautions to turn your home into a haven from the winter cold. Stay warm and stay safe!

Christmas Fire Safety Tips

Approaching coming up to Christmas time, fires are roaring and lights are shining. With all the festivities comes extra fire danger and risks. Here are some top tips for fire safety at Christmas time.

Watering all real Christmas trees

This one is often used as a method for keeping your tree healthy and full throughout December. It is also one of the best tips for fire safety at Christmas time. This little trick can help stop the huge spread of a fire and can easily save lives and homes.

Dry Christmas trees are very flammable and can turn a small flame into a full house fire in the matter of minutes. This is demonstrated very well with this great Youtube video by PennLive.com.

Checking lights aren't damaged and confrom to British Standards

Lights on a Christmas tree and around the house in general do look good, but if they are faulty or damaged this can spark a very dangerous fire. Lights conforming to British Standards allows you to know that the products that are sprinkled around your house this December are not faulty and not likely to spark a fire.

When lights are old and used (like a lot of people’s Christmas lights are) they can be a potential risk of starting fires. If you notice any fraying or damage to your lights or ANY cables and wires in your house make sure you deal with them immediately and either replace the wiring professionally or get a new product.

Never overload sockets or outlets

During the Christmas season we tend to have more electrical items that we are not used to having to plug in the rest of the year. This can lead to people being lazy with their care for electrical safety. This can lead to overloaded sockets.

Overloaded sockets are a huge risk when it comes to starting fires. Too much electricity running through the outlet at once will cause an increase in temperature, which can lead to further problems. This can cause electrical faults leading to sparks and fires. This tip for fire safety at Christmas is essential as it is one of the more common fire starters during the festive period.

Always turn off Christmas lights before going to bed

With Christmas lights people love to leave them overnight because they ‘look good’. This is a very dangerous habit. Doing this could leave your Christmas tree and your house vulnerable. This could cause a fire due to an electrical fault at any time.

Fairy lights alone cause upward of 20 fires a year in the UK. By not leaving Christmas lights on overnight you are saving electricity, stopping the chance of a fire and reducing wear and tear on the lights in general and batteries if they are battery operated.

Be safe when heating your home

During this cost of living crisis, people will struggle to heat their homes properly, this may lead to people taking up unsafe acts in an attempt to stay warm this Christmas. Safety must always be thought about equally or first. 

When using electric heaters, they must never be left unattended as they are a very capable fire starter. In the last 5 years electrical heaters have caused upward of 800 fires across the UK. They account for a third of all electrical fire fatalities. 

Keep candles away from flammable items

Candles are a cosy addition to any Christmas setup and are a common addition round the festive period. 

This is one of the most common tips for fire safety at Christmas time. Proper and safe use of candles is very important. Never leave a candle unattended and keep away from real trees, wreaths, curtains and any flammable material.

Peabody.org.uk – 20 fairy light fires,  London Fire Brigade – 800 fires over the last 5 years caused by electrical fire