Return to How To's & Project Ideas

Fire Safety in the Home

Print this article Share

On average, fires in the home kill 39 people each year in Ireland. Our guide will show you some easy safety precautions you can take to greatly reduce the risk of a lethal fire in your home.

Overloaded electrical socket fire hazardPreventing a Fire

The following do’s and don’ts will help you prevent a fire starting in your home, and may even save lives.

Don’t

  • Smoke when you’re in bed or tired. 
  • Leave candles unattended.
  • Leave children alone near an open fire.
  • Leave matches or lighters in reach of children.
  • Overload electrical sockets; one socket = one plug.
  • Use a heater or a cooker to dry clothes.
  • Use petrol or paraffin to light a solid fuel stove.

Do

  • Keep a working smoke alarm on every floor of your home.
  • Keep a fire safety kit in the kitchen that includes a fire extinguisher and a fire safety blanket.
  • Clean your chimneys at least once a year.
  • Use a spark guard with open fires.
  • Use proper holders for candles.
  • Repair or replace faulty electrical appliances immediately.
  • Do a safety check before you go to bed.

Fitting a smoke alarm for fire safetyDetecting a Fire

If a fire does start, early detection will save lives. Most deaths are caused by the inhalation of smoke, so the early warning provided by an audible smoke alarm will give you and your family the chance to escape. 82% of fires that kill are in homes with no working smoke alarm.

Here are vital tips to ensure your smoke alarms work as they should and provide total peace of mind:
  • It is essential to fit a smoke alarm on every floor. For maximum protection, fit a smoke alarm in every room except the bathroom and kitchen. A heat alarm is more suitable for the kitchen because of the smoke generated by cooking.
  • Test your smoke alarms once a week by pressing the “Test” button, and change the batteries as required.
  • Change the batteries as soon as you hear the warning beep. 
  • Replace smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old. 
  • Never borrow batteries from the smoke alarm.

Calling emergency servicesFire Escape Plan

Together with your family or housemates, develop and practice a Fire Escape Plan.

Follow our easy steps to create your plan:
  • Have at least two ways to get out of the house, in case one way is blocked by fire.
  • Stay low to the ground when escaping as the smoke will be less dense there.
  • Agree on a meeting point in a safe place outside the house. 
  • Make sure everyone knows to call the emergency services by dialing 999 or 112, and to calmly and clearly tell the operator what service you require, the address and your phone number; only hanging up the call when the operator tells you to.
  • Just in case both escape routes are blocked, decide on a room where all of you can gather and wait to be rescued. There should be a phone in this room so you can call for help. Close the door and seal the bottom with towels or blankets to stop harmful smoke entering.
  • Never re-enter a burning house for personal items.

Nightly fire safety checksNightly Fire Safety Checks

A fire safety check only takes a few minutes each night and can be the difference between life and death. Make it part of your routine before you go to bed, following these steps:
  • Turn off gas appliances.
  • Put out candles and naked flames.
  • Place a spark guard in front of an open fire.
  • Empty all ashtrays.
  • Keep your way out completely clear. 
  • Close all doors.

Fire blanketMore Quick Tips for Fire Safety

  • Keep a fire extinguisher and a fire safety blanket in the kitchen and know how to use them. 
  • Only attempt to put out a fire yourself if it is safe to do so.
  • Keep a fire escape ladder in the room that offers the best exit route from a window.
  • Keep torches in the main rooms of the home and especially in the master bedroom in case the fire causes a power outage.
  • Feel all doors before opening them; if a door is hot, get out another way.

Browse our wide range of smoke and heat alarms here, and our fire safety products here. Visit your local Topline for more helpful advice.

You might also be interested in