Sadly, House fires kill and injure thousands in Scotland yearly, and cost many more their valued possessions and memories. Below are some of Perthshire’s top tips to prevent a fire starting.
Looking to get a fire system installed? Read more here.
Ensure all electrical equipment is working correctly:
In Scotland, crews respond, on average, to two house fires every day caused by the misuse of electrical equipment and faulty appliances. If you believe a piece of electrical equipment is no longer working as well as it used to or is faulty, ensure that you get the equipment looked over by a fully qualified electrician. Ensure that all bare wires are covered by suitable coverings – such as electrical tape, and that you do not leave appliances on for a prolonged period of time e.g. phone chargers left on all night.
If your workplace as numerous pieces of electrical equipment such as computers, phones, kettles etc. ensure that equipment has been PAT tested and has passed. Using equipment which has been PAT tested by a fully qualified electrician decreases a workplace’s chance of wire. If you notice a piece of equipment is PAT tested but requires re-testing or a piece of equipment that requires testing please notify your manager. Although the law does not require every piece of electrical equipment within a workplace to be tested, it requires businesses to maintain equipment correctly to prevent danger. Contact your local electrician for more information or search here.
Avoid over loading plug sockets and extension cables:
When it comes to electrical appliances, over loading plugs is easier said than done! These days on average, a household has 41 electrical appliances which requires either mains power or electrical charge. When using equipment, avoid over-loading sockets and extension cables by safely unplugging the electrical appliances when not is use. Also, before leaving the house or before going to bed ensure all electrical equipment which is not in use is switched off, this will avoid the socket or extension cable sparking – ultimately, preventing the event of an electrical fire. Making switching equipment off part of your daily routine reduces your chances of fire. Figures show that last year 1800 of the blazes in Scotland were started by wiring, cabling and plugs.
Leaving candles and naked flames unattended:
Be careful with candles, oil lamps and other naked flames. Ensure than all candles are blown out when leaving your home or going to bed. Ensure that All naked flames are away from flammable materials such as curtains or other fabrics. Cover candles with a wire frame to avoid anything falling on top on the flame, preventing a fire starting. Ensure that all candles are out of reach from children and pets. If you use matches to light flames or candles, please place the match under cool running water to extinguish the flame before throwing the match away. Read more candle fire safety advice here.
Smoke and Heat detectors:
If you have a fire system in your property, make sure that all detectors are in working order, try to replace batteries and test all detectors frequently. If you do not have a fire system installed, read more about P.S.S fire systems here. As well as making sure all detectors work, if you have extinguishers within your property, please ensure they are within their expiry date and use the correct extinguisher for the type of fire. Full list of fire extinguisher type and use here.
For the latest Scottish Fire and Rescue statistics go to http://www.firescotland.gov.uk/about-us/fire-and-rescue-statistics.aspx
Ultimately, the event of a fire you must make sure you know how to use extinguishers if available and have a planned fire exit route. Stay calm, leave all personal belongings behind and call 999 for the fire brigade to attend if you do not have a monitored fire system in place.