Tag Archives: fire

Planning a safe escape in the event of an emergency Part Two

March 6, 2012

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After you have made your plan you must explain what to do with everyone in your household.

Make sure if you have children they understand what they have to do and where they need to go. Put reminders on fridge doors and by any telephones, include your address on these just incase a child needs to give any information over the phone.

Direct Gov have a fire safety advise for parents and child carers section, CLICK HERE to find out more.

The next thing you may want to do is practise the plan, practise makes perfect after all!

Make sure all plugs are out of their sockets before you go to sleep...

Dangers and fire hazards while you are sleeping…

When you are in a deep sleep it will be much harder to realise any dangers that may be occuring around you. If you have no fire alarms it is even harder!

You must make sure before you go to bed at night…

  • Check the cooker is turned off
  • Turn off and unplug electrical appliances (unless they are meant to be left on, like your freezer)
  • Put candles and cigarettes out properly
  • Turn heaters off and put up fire guards
  • Make sure exits are kept clear
  • Close inside doors at night to stop a fire from spreading*
 For any other fire safety advice visit the Direct Gov* website, they provide clear guides to keep you and your family safe in your home.

 

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Planning a safe escape in the event of an emergency – Part One

March 1, 2012

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It is recommended that all homes must have a plan of action when it comes to escaping in the event of an emergency. This plan could save your life and help you act quickly, for example in the case of a fire.

In the beginning stages of planning your escape plan you must think about who lives in the home, you must include everyone (children, older people and anyone who may be disabled).

Everyone must be kept safe and keep together, as soon as you get out of the building find a safe place to go away from the property as the fire may make it dangerous to be around.

Here are some tips from Direct Gov to help plan your escape route:

  • The best escape route is often the normal way in an out of your home
  • Think of any difficulties you may have getting out, eg at night you may need to have a torch to light your way
  • Choose a second escape route, in case the first one is blocked
  • Keep all exits clear of obstructions, like bicycles
  • If there are any children, older or disabled people or pets, plan how you will get them out

Everyone must be kept safe and keep together, as soon as you get out of the building find a safe place to go away from the property as the fire may make it dangerous to be around.

If you cannot get out of the building find a safe room for everyone to go into. Make sure you try to choose a room with windows and cover any cracks around the doors with cushions/towels/bedding.

Open your windows for ventilation and to call for help, try to get to a phone and call 999 as soon as possible.

Keep any keys for doors and windows in a place where yourself and household members will know and remember time lost spent looking for keys may mean lives lost.

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Single mother without contents insurance has possessions destroyed in fire

February 2, 2012

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A single mother of two has lost everything in a house fire in Nottingham.

There was a house fire next door to Tina Lavender’s home, unfortunetly the fire spread into Miss Lavender’s home destroying all of her possessions.

Miss Lavender did not have contents insurance so everything that was ruined in the fire has been lost for good.

This has come at a bad time, as Miss Lavender gave birth to her 8 week old baby 10 weeks early and has only just been able to bring her home. Now all of her baby clothed, bottles ect have been destroyed.

The fire has been ruled as accidental, it started after a solid fuel cooker was lit which had a flue pipe carrying the smoke outside.

There was a flaw in the pipe which allowed sparks to escape and then that ignited the floorboards on the first floor.

If Miss Lavender had contents insurance, her possessions would have been protected.

It is so quick, easy and simple to get the correct insurance for your home, to have your possessions protected it is worth having!

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Smoke alarms in the home

January 27, 2012

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It is really important to make sure you have smoke alarms fitted in your home, you are twice as likely to die from a smoke alarm that doesn’t work in your home.

Smoke alarms are there to warn you of the early stages of fire, they are there to give you time to escape.

Do you need more than one smoke alarm?

One smoke alarm is the minimum to have in your home. If you are only going to have one make sure you can hear it when you are upstairs.

Ideally, if you have computers in rooms or any other large electrical items you should have smoke alarms in each of the rooms.

Check your alarms weekly just to make sure that they are continuing to work properly.

Smoke alarms are really easy to fit and install in your home, they should be at least one foot away from a wall or light.

If you don’t feel confident doing it yourself, some fire and rescue services in England offer free fire risk checks and they may also be able to fit your smoke alarm for free.

Maybe also consider friends or family who may be able to help you.

There are two types of smoke alarm and there are many different models available.

Ionisation alarms

Ionisation alarms are the cheapest and most readily available smoke alarms. They are also very sensitive to ‘flaming fires’ – fires that burn fiercely, like chip-pan fires. Ionisation alarms will detect flaming fires before the smoke gets too thick.*

Optical alarms

Optical alarms are more expensive. However, they are more effective at detecting slow-burning fires, like smouldering foam-filled furniture or overheated wiring. Optical alarms are less likely to go off accidentally and so are best for ground-floor hallways and for homes on one level.

For the best protection, you should install one of each. However, if you can’t have both, it’s still safer to have either one, rather than none at all.

Whichever model you choose, you should make sure that it meets British Standard 5446, Part 1 (BS 5446-1) and ideally also carries the British Standard Kitemark. Your local fire and rescue service will help you decide which is best for your circumstances if you would like some advice.*

British Standard Kitemark

Standard-battery alarms

An ‘ionisation battery alarm’ is the cheapest and most basic smoke alarm available. An ‘optical battery alarm’ is a little more expensive. Both run off 9-volt batteries.*

Battery alarms with an emergency light

These come fitted with an emergency light which comes on when the alarm is triggered. They are particularly suitable if someone in your house has hearing difficulties and may help light up an escape route.*

Alarms with ten-year batteries

These are slightly more expensive, but you save on the cost of replacing batteries. They are available as ionisation/optical alarms and are fitted with a long-life lithium battery, or a sealed power pack that lasts for ten years.*

Models with a ‘hush’ or ‘silence’ button

Some models are available with a ‘hush’ button which will silence the alarm for a short time. This can be used when cooking, for example. If there is a real fire, giving off lots of smoke, the hush system is overridden and the alarm sounds. These models will continue to remind you they have been silenced by ‘chirping’ or by displaying a red light.*

Mains-powered alarms

These are powered by your home’s electricity supply and need to be installed by qualified electricians. There’s no battery to check, although they are available with battery back-up in case of a power cut.*

Interconnecting or linked alarms

Some alarms can be connected to each other so that when one senses smoke, all the alarms in the property sound. They are useful for people with hearing difficulties and also in larger homes.*

Mains-powered alarm with strobe light and vibrating pad

These are designed for people who are deaf or have hearing difficulties. If there’s a fire, the alarm alerts you with a flashing light and vibrating pad – which is placed beneath your pillow.*

Mains-powered alarm which plugs into a light socket

This type of alarm uses a rechargeable battery that charges up when the light is switched on. It lasts for ten years and can be silenced or tested by the light switch.*

Keep your smoke alarms working

Test your alarms once a week, make sure you press the test button until the alarm sounds.

The battery must be changed every year, but some are ten year alarms so don’t need changing that often.

The whole alarm must be replaced every 10 years.

 

*Info from Direct Gov

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Hints on Tips on what you can do to protect your home this winter

November 28, 2011

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After having a very mild October/November the temperature seems to be taking a drop as we hit December. Here are a few hints and tips on how you can protect your home from freeze and escape of water, theft, storms and fire.

Freeze and escape of water

  • If you are going out for the day, leave the heating on but leave it on a low setting (ideally around 15c)
  • You must know where the stopcock is in your home so you can stop the water supply in an emergency, if you are renting from a landlord make sure they have told you all necessary information.
  • You must check that your pipes and heater/water tanks are insulated and you lag the pipes in the loft.
  • To prevent pipes from bursting, lag the outside water taps.
  • Plumbing joints that are plastic will degrade sooner than metal ones, make sure you keep an eye out for any signs of water.
  • If you are going away over the Christmas period maybe consider draining down your plumbing and heating system. Always seek professional advise with this.

Theft

  • Make sure you have burglar alarms fitted on your property, technology has moved quite far and now you can have alarms that dials a programmed number such as your mobile phone so if you are out or away you will be notified straight away that your property may have been broken into.
  • Having strong external doors are recommended, a lot of properties now have a five leaver mortice deadlock and/or extra sliding bolts for extra protection and to improve the security. If you don’t have any of these you would be making a wise investment by purchasing them.
  • Never leave a spare key around in the most obvious place, and only tell the people who need to know where it is!

Storm

  • You should regularly check the condition of your property, if you rent your landlord should keep on top of this. Pay attention to all the roofs including garage, shed and flat roofs for signs of water and tear. If there is a heavy snow fall during the winter this adds extra weight pressure onto the roofs so these must be stable.
  • It is important to keep gutters, gullies and drains clear as any water that flows into them may become trapped, this then leads to flooding and if the water freezes burst pipes.
  • Cutting back low hanging tree branches may prevent damage in extreme high winds.

Fire

  • One of the main items to have in your property to protect you from fire is a properly functioning smoke detector. This alerts you in the early stages of a fire which then gives you enough time to get out of your property and make an escape.
  • Never leave candles unattended, especially near fabrics and flammable items.
  • Never leave a chip pan unattended, if the pan is giving off smoke do NOT put food into the pan.
  • If you own electric blankets make sure they have a safety check every three years and always switch them off before you get into bed.

If you follow these hints and tips you will be protecting yourselves and your families especially over the Christmas period.

 

Source- Ageas

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