Staying Safe And Avoiding Fire In 2022: Our Guide

By Swindon Link - 11 May 2022

Opinion and Features

We all like to think that we are doing absolutely everything to ensure that we are keeping ourselves and our families safe. However, it can be all too easy to fall into bad habits. This is especially true when we are feeling stressed, and right now we are all juggling an awful lot of different challenges and responsibilities.

The rising cost of living is forcing us to come up with creative ways to stretch our budgets further. Anyone who is self-employed is looking at the chaotic markets and wondering if they will be able to keep themselves afloat in the months ahead. The news is hardly offering us anything in the way of optimism right now. However, the hard truth is that the risks to our safety are going to be there regardless of whether we have our minds on something else or not.

When it comes to fire safety, most of us have a handle on the basics. We would never do anything that would obviously cause a major hazard. But with fire safety, it is precisely the things that we do not think about which could be putting us in the greatest amount of danger. And when it comes to the basics, there is never a bad time to have a little refresher to make sure that we are keeping this issue at the front of our minds. With that in mind, here are some of the most important things that we should all be doing to stay safe and avoid fire in 2022. Let’s get started.

Check Your Smoke Detectors

Let’s start with one of the easiest and one of the most important steps that we should all be taking with fire safety. Your smoke detectors are the most important piece of your fire safety equipment in the home, and if they are not working, then you could find yourself in real danger very quickly. Every home and place of work should have a smoke alarm on each floor of the property. Ideally, they should be placed near the bedroom to ensure that you are alerted properly and promptly if there is an issue during the night. You should be testing your smoke alarms on a regular basis, and it is recommended that you should change the batteries in your smoke alarm every six months. Perhaps most importantly, if you notice that your smoke alarm is beeping for no apparent reason or you suspect that they are malfunctioning in another way, you need to get them checked as soon as possible. Never disable a smoke alarm for the sake of convenience.

Give Up Dangerous Habits

We all know the horror stories of people falling asleep with lit cigarettes. But when it comes to fire hazards around the home, it is amazing how few people think about the risk that smoking puts them in. Leaving aside the multitude of other reasons why you should consider quitting smoking or switching to vaping, removing lit cigarettes from your home will help to cut down the risk of a house fire. You will also find that there are more benefits to making the switch to e-cigarettes than you realised.

Double Check Your Safety Equipment

Hands up everyone, who is pretty sure that they have fire safety equipment somewhere around the house? How many of those people can say exactly where it is and when they last checked that it is still functional? If you want to improve your home fire protection, then you should seriously consider investing in a home fire extinguisher. It is important to remember that there are different fire extinguisher classifications depending on the type of fire that it should be used for. Generally, home fire extinguishers have an ABC rating, which means that they can be used on fires created by combustibles (that means paper, wood, plastic and so forth), flammable liquids and gases. You can also find home fire extinguishers that cover pan fires, such as chip pans and other greases, by using water mist.

Get Your Boiler Checked

Most of us live in fear of something going wrong with our boiler. We know how expensive it can be to replace a broken boiler, but the best way to deal with this issue is definitely not to hide your head in the sand and hope that the boiler will make it through another winter. If you think that there might be an in issue with your boiler, then you are putting you and your family at risk. You should be paying a professional to check your boiler once a year. If they tell you that you need to buy a new one, you need to listen to that advice.

Upgrade Your Appliances

Shelling out for new major appliances is never a popular option, and it is especially unappealing given that we are all looking for ways that we can save money right now instead of spending even more. However, it is important to note that there will come a point where the safest thing to do is to say goodbye to old ovens, fridges, and washer dryers.

All of these machines will suffer from wear and tear, even if you clean and service them regularly. If you do not clean and service them regularly, then they are going to be in even greater need of an upgrade. Remember that you are going to be facing significantly greater costs if you need to pay to repair fire damage and you will need to replace any faulty or damaged equipment anyway. What’s more, if the machinery that caused a fire was out of its warranty, you could be in for a hard time with your insurance company when it comes to convincing them to pay out. Another argument in favour of replacing old machinery is that newer appliances will come with a better energy efficiency rating. That means that you will be cutting down on your carbon footprint and you will be saving money on your energy bills.

Do Not Try To Replace Major Appliances Yourself

There are a lot of us out there who would find the idea that you would get someone else to install an appliance for you a little ridiculous. However, there are instances when relying on a video tutorial to help you to get the job done yourself is not a great idea. Take your oven, for example. It does not matter how confident you are about removing the old model and putting the new one in. There are so many different ways in which you could cause damage to the gas or electricity fittings, all of which would create a serious fire hazard in your home. If you are having a new major appliance fitted, it is always worth getting someone who knows what they are doing to put it in for you. If you need more convincing, remember that you could end up voiding the warranty if you do it yourself and get it wrong.

Keep An Eye On Your Plugs

When it comes to our plugs, most of us tend to prioritise ease and convenience over everything else. This is how we end up fitting huge adapters with several different objects and appliances all plugged in. While it should be safe to follow the guidelines of the adapter manufacturers, it is important to remember that they can be a fire hazard if they are overloaded. Try to avoid having too many cords plugged into one outlet. And speaking of cords, you need to be checking that they are still in good condition. If you live with pets, they may be gnawing on them without you noticing. It does not take much to create a spark, and sometimes that is all it takes.

Be Smart When You Are Cooking

Sometimes we can all get a bit overwhelmed while we are cooking. It is not always the most stress-free environment, especially if we are working with several different hot pans. When the wok is spitting hot grease at you and the pot of hot water you have put on for the rice is boiling over, you are going to be a little distracted. It is so important that you keep a careful eye on everything you are cooking.

If you need to leave the room for a moment, do not be tempted to leave everything on. Remember that 60% of fires in the home begin in the kitchen. Turn off the cooker and move the hot pans and pots to surfaces that are not in use. You should also take care to clean your oven and hob regularly. It is often the case that oven fires are not caused by the food that you are currently cooking, but by debris that has been left over. You also need to be careful about what you have left near the oven while you are cooking. Make sure that you have moved any kitchen paper, dish towels and papers away from any hot surfaces. Like so many fire hazards, some of the greatest dangers come from not thinking carefully about what you are doing.

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