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Give the gift of safety this winter

Give the gift of safety this winter

Now that it is turning winter we are preparing ourselves for the drop in temperature and getting ready for all the festivities to come! However, people tend to forget that it is not all about cosy fires and festive treats. There are many common items and behaviours during winter that are not often considered as being a fire hazard.

Electric blankets

A popular way to keep ourselves warm during the cold winter months. But, did you know that around 65 fires a year are caused by faulty electric blankets?*

Fire prevention tips:

  • Don’t use hot water bottles whilst using electric blankets.
  • Don’t keep your blankets on all night unless there is a thermostat control.
  • Do buy your electric blanket from a trusted retailer to ensure you are using a safe product.
  • Do check your blanket for faults regularly.
  • Do store your blanket rolled instead of folded to prevent wire damage.

Open fires

When picturing winter we all think of a warm, crackling fire. In England, there is an average of 7700 chimney fires every year*, most of which are avoidable.

Fire prevention tips:

  • Don’t leave an open fire unattended.
  • Don’t throw flammable materials on to the fire.
  • Do ensure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to sleep.
  • Do keep flammable materials/ liquids away from the fire.
  • Do clean your chimney annually.
  • Do keep a guard around your fire.

These tips can also be applied to the use of candles, which can be considered a potential high risk fire hazard.

Portable heaters

A quick and easy way to add extra heat to a specific area in your home. Two fires a day are caused by portable heaters*. Whether its an electric heater or powered by gas/ paraffin, there are safety precautions you need to consider before and during use.

Fire prevention tips:

  • Don’t use your heater in a crowded space.
  • Don’t use portable heaters beyond their manufacturing use (e.g. drying clothes)
  • Don’t keep your heaters close to objects that can overheat/ catch on fire.
  • Do get your electrical heaters tested for faults.
  • Do keep your room well ventilated, especially using gas/paraffin heaters.

Cooking

Statistics found by the Red Cross report that In America, cooking related fires are the main cause of residence fires! Leaving items in the oven or on the stove is all the more tempting during the winter months in order to seek warmth or return to hosting duties. However the risks need to be considered, especially when a gas oven is being used.

Fire prevention tips:

  • Don’t leave the oven unattended when in use.
  • Don’t over use flammable ingredients (e.g. alcohol, oils).
  • Don’t overfill trays, pots and pans.
  • Do consider buying a fire blanket or extinguisher if you will be setting alight any Christmas related foods.

Keep your home and family safe this winter by following these fire prevention tips and enjoy winter, risk free.

*https://www.gov.uk

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