27 Oct 2017
Fire safety and health and safety are key priorities for Anchor and Anchor’s Customers.
A fire is a rare event but the effects can be devastating. Here are some simple fire safety tips you can take to reduce the risk of a fire, and to protect yourself should a fire start in your home. We’ve also put together tips to prevent injury and ill health in your home.
Fire prevention tips
- Be careful with candles and keep them away from curtains, carpets, furniture, bedding and other flammable items.
- Don't leave cigarettes, pipes or candles unattended.
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
- Make sure cigarettes are put out properly and don’t smoke in bed, do use deep metal ashtrays – and don't throw hot ash into waste bins.
- Make sure you switch off heaters and cookers when you're not using them.
- Avoid storing combustible materials such as tea towels, kitchen roll, plastic containers too close to your cooker or other heat sources in the kitchen.
- Where possible turn off electrical appliances properly when not in use - don’t just use standby mode. Turning appliances off at the plug ensures no energy is being used at all and reduces the risk of plugs heating up and causing fires.
- Don’t use block type electrical adaptors, and never use extension leads for equipment that generates heat.
- Don’t cook when tired or at times when taking medication that can cause drowsiness.
- Take care when cooking with oil as it sets alight very easily. Never throw water on a chip pan fire. Top Tip: use a deep fat fryer it’s much safer.
- Don't use or store devices that run on a stored gas cylinder.
- Don’t charge e-cigarettes over night or leave unattended when on charge.
- Use only the manufacturer’s recommended charging device for e-cigarettes and other electrical appliances.
- Avoid storing large amounts of newspapers and magazines in your home, and keep away from heat sources
- Never smoke while using medical oxygen.
- Always follow manufactures instructions when using your microwave, and read packaging instructions carefully when heating food.
- Heating wheat bags safely - The number one rule when using any type of wheat bag is to always follow any manufacturer’s instructions given carefully. Do not heat a wheat bag in a microwave for too long, or at too high a temperature.
Fire safety tips
- Ensure you have a working smoke alarm. The easiest way to protect yourself from fire is with a working smoke alarm. A smoke alarm can provide an early warning of a fire and allow you to make your escape – but only if it is working. You are almost twice as likely to die in a fire if you do not have a working smoke alarm so never take out or disconnect the batteries and never cover up your smoke alarm. Smoke alarms fitted with a test button should also be tested regularly to make sure they work. If you don't have a smoke alarm, you can get one free by contacting your local fire and rescue service. If you live with Anchor your location manager may be able to assist you with this.
- Keep escape routes clear of obstructions. It is important that communal areas like corridors, walkways and fire doors are kept clear of obstructions such as rubbish, bikes, and furniture that could make navigating them dangerous and difficult in the event of a fire. This also ensures that fire and rescue service can enter the building and reach you easily and quickly. If you find rubbish or anything blocking communal areas or fire escapes in an Anchor location, please contact the location manager.
Health and safety tips
- Place furniture in positions where you can freely move around your home.
- Wear foot wear that fits correctly including slippers.
- Manage cables etc. so they don’t pose a trip hazard.
- Replace any lightbulbs that have expired immediately.
- Keep floor coverings free from damage and spillages.
- Fasten any free standing furniture e.g. wardrobes securely to prevent toppling over.
- Keep cleaning materials and medication out of the reach of children.
- Never overload electrical sockets or extension leads.
- Use a qualified electricians to make any necessary repairs to electrical appliances.
- When returning from holiday or other times when your away from home, flush your toilet, and run all water outlets for 3 minutes to flush the system.
- Ensure your home is not too cold or too hot. 19-21C is an ideal temperature range.
David McGill is Anchor's Senior Health Safety and Fire Advisor.