Fire prevention tips

Preventing a fire isn't the easiest thing to do as it could happen at any time. Follow our checklist to help protect your home against fire.

Smoke alarms

  • Install reliable smoke alarms

  • Place smoke alarms outside bedrooms, high on walls and near the kitchen

  • Test and clean alarms once a month

  • Replace batteries once a year

  • Replace your smoke alarm every 10 years

  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children

  • Don't smoke in bed or when drowsy or medicated

  • Make sure that cigarette butts and matches are fully extinguished

  • Never leave a lit cigarette (or cigar or pipe) unattended as they can easily overbalance and start a fire

Electrical wiring

  • Frayed or exposed wires, along with loose plugs, are a fire hazard, so keep them maintained

  • Plug outlets need to be properly fitted cover plates with no exposed wiring

  • Don't overload extension cords or plug sockets (if you must, consider using a circuit breaker to prevent sparks and short circuits)

  • Make sure insulation doesn't touch bare electrical wiring

  • Ensure electrical wiring faults are assessed and repaired by a qualified electrician as it can be dangerous to tackle such problems on your own

Flammable items

  • Don't store flammable liquids (e.g. benzene, naphtha) indoors

  • Store flammable liquids in approved containers in a well ventilated area

  • Never smoke near flammable liquids

  • Immediately discard (or store in a metal container) any rags or materials that have come into contact with flammable liquids

  • Ensure your chimney is three feet higher than your roof

  • Remove any branches that hang around the chimney

  • Don't be a hoarder – clean out storage areas where flammable material (newspapers, magazines etc.) can build up

Heat sources

  • Position heaters at least three feet away from flammable materials

  • Keep open flames away from flammable items, including curtains, furniture and walls

  • Install a screen over your fireplace if you have children or pets in your home

Fire retardants

  • Consider spraying your furniture with a fire retardant to prevent it from burning during a fire

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