Print Posted on 27/06/2017

Reduce your fire risk at home this winter

Reduce your fire risk at home this winter

When the temperature drops, there is nothing better than cuddling up by a roaring fireplace. For those of us without a fireplace, heaters are currently getting a good work-out. However, as warm and cosy as your home is, you need to remember that using a fireplace or heater can increase the risk of accidental fire in your home if they are not used safely or correctly.

Here are some tips on reducing your fire risk at home this winter:

*If you have a wood fire, you need to ensure you have the chimney swept at least once a year. If you don’t, the chimney could become blocked with soot build-up, increasing the risk of fire.

* If you have an open fire, ensure that is it never burning too high. Always have a fire safety gate in place, even if there are no children or pets in the home.

* Those with gas heaters should get them serviced every two years, or whenever they do not appear to be working correctly. Faulty heaters are a big cause of fires at home, and carbon monoxide fumes can be dangerous to those living within the home.

* If you are using a space heater, do not leave it unattended. If it is placed near anything combustible, it could quickly result in a fire. And as tempting as it is, do not leave space heaters running overnight.

* Make sure you do not place portable heaters too close to curtains, blinds, tablecloths or bedding, as these could easily catch alight if they get too hot.

* Gas heaters should be shut off whenever you leave the room.

* Make sure your smoke alarms are in good working order.

* Do not use fire safety gates or space heaters to dry clothing.

* If you are using candles throughout winter, ensure they are properly extinguished before leaving the house or before going to sleep.

* For those using electric blankets, ensure the cords are damage-free and are not frayed before use.

* Make sure to clean the lint filter of your clothes dryer every time you use it.