Fire Safety

Fire Safety In The Home

What is Fire Safety?

Fire Safety in the home is quite often overlooked. Whilst there are a number of regulations and laws applicable to rental property, homeowners are not legally obliged to have even the simplest of preventative measures in place to live safely. A recent spate of reports on home fires caused by the rise in popular electronic devices has highlighted areas of concern. In relation to this, here are a few hints and tips on what you can do to keep you and your family safe.

With the rise in electronic gadgets, modern efficient rechargeable batteries and the different uses of them, homes all over the UK are packed full of interesting items that could pose a risk. It isn’t just high tech toys that have created problems, also, age old household items such as tumble dryers still cause house fires. We certainly are not suggesting we should not have these gizmo’s nor do we preach to see any banned. But, by putting in some simple measures or adding a small change in habit here and there, you could minimise any danger.

What items pose a risk?

Well, without wanting to scare monger, the answer is pretty much anything! However, we can’t live our lives in fear of everything. Below is a list of the main contributors to dwelling fires as indicated from a number of sourses, mainly the Home office of National statistics and various insurance companies.

  1. Smoking and affiliated materials – in the government report from 2019 to 2020 some 7% of house fires were caused by this ignition type
  2. Cooking Appliances – Some 48% of fires were started by cooking appliances across 2019 and 2020!
  3. Electrical equipment or appliances – 34% of fires started this way.

Just these three areas alone accounted for over 80% of house fires between March 2019 and 2020, and with the introduction of more gadgets such as electronic bikes, toys and more, the numbers have increased since.

So what can we do?

So let us break each area down and offer some tips on what you can do to minimise the risk of fire.


Whilst on the wain, people still smoke in their homes (try not to if you are looking to sell!). Extinguishing the cigarette or cigar/pipe fully is critical. Most fires caused this way are due to what is simply an oversight in leaving embers burning or allowing a lit item to fall on furniture or bedding. Most fabrics do not take much in the way of a heat source to catch fire. More and more incidents happen as people fall asleep.

Try a completely enclosed/self extinguishing ashtray. Maybe consider smoking outside or getting rid of any butts externally (be careful of a bin and what’s in it). Maybe smoke in a designated area i.e not in bed or where you are likely to be distracted.

Cooking appliances

You may think this one is obvious. if so, why is it the cause for nearly 50% of home fires? How many times have you forgotten to turn the oven off when rushing about, only to smell something late on? Ever left the gas or electric hob on? We all do it. With modern day appliances it is so easy – they are quiet and efficient. Luckily more and more new appliances have built in fail safes but still so many do not.

Always turn the appliance off as soon as you remove what you are cooking. Always check the hob and oven before you go out or go to bed. Never leave the oven on when no one is in the house. Certainly never leave a naked flame on when you are out. Unplug the slow cooker. Use the alarm/timer setting to alert you when the food is done. Never leave a grill unattended. Keep your appliance clean and avoid build up of grease and dirt that could catch fire. Click here for more info.

Electrical Equipment or Appliances

Linked with the above, electrical fires or electrical faults cause many fires. Under maintained appliances can overload. Water can cause sparking as can faulty and incorrect wiring. Other things can be attributed to this also. Rechargeable items such as vapes/e-cigarettes can overheat. E-bikes batteries have been known to explode. Computer batteries do overheat. Tumble dryers can get so hot that they have been known to make certain materials combust.

To combat these risks and to increase your fire safety, you can again create new habits. Just unplug items if you leave the house or go to bed. Ensure what you are charging or the battery within it meets UK standards. Once the tumble dryer has finished, open the door, air the clothes, don’t leave the door closed and the heat in. Make sure you are using the correct charging tools, not all chargers are the same in terms of amps and voltage. Don’t leave items unattended and check them, if you think they are getting worryingly hot – unplug! Avoid charging potentially explosive items near flammable items – that includes bedding and your body. Charge large items in the garage for example. Always make sure your equipment is in good working order. See a frayed wire or split casing – bin it! Read more here on Battery and charging safety.

Above all else – Fire Safety

For Fire Safety, make sure you have the right equipment in your house to warn you of fire and to combat it if needs be.

  1. Smoker detectors – Preferably hardwired. They have back up batteries in case the power goes out but at least you know they will work. At least ensure you check the batteries and replace regularly if they are not hardwired. Always test them each month! Never turn them off when cooking.
  2. Fire blanket – Useful to have in the kitchen for any oil or grease fire. Never throw water on oil, it will only make it worse. Suffocate the flames.
  3. Small Extinguisher – if the fire is small you can fight it yourself. But, never underestimate fire. Ensure you and your family are safe first, move away from the fire. Call 999.
  4. Know you escape route – Having a plan, no matter how the small the chance of it being needed is better than no plan at all. Know the quickest route out the house at the ground level. Know the safest route if the ground floor is blocked. Keep windows in good working order and if they are lockable, have the keys nearby.

For more tips on fire safety, click here.

Skilton & Hogg Estate Agents

Here at Skilton & Hogg Estate Agents in Daventry & Rugby, we do not just sell houses. We are more than happy to discuss any topics relating to property, safety or pretty much anything else. You can always visit us here in the town centre on Prince William Street or call us on 01327 624275 or 01788 486100. Or email us on If you are looking to sell your home in Daventry, we can offer free, no obligation market appraisals.

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