The only homes that have to have any kind of fire alarm systems are any houses that were built after 2004 and any rental properties; if your home doesn’t fall under any of these two categories then there’s no legal obligation for you to have any kind of alarm system which means that you and your family could be in danger.
Although you’d think it was common sense to have fire alarms and other fire safety mechanisms fitted in the home many people don’t, even though you can have them fitted for free by your local fire brigade. Even if you don’t have them fitted by the fire brigade, they’re pretty cheap to buy and when you consider the fact that they could save your life they really do pay for themselves.
There are plenty of other ways that you can increase the safety of you and your family and a lot of them don’t cost a penny because it’s all down to education.
· In order to keep you and your children safe it’s important to take fire seriously because if you don’t then your children certainly won’t as they won’t see it as any kind of danger. Rather than having the ‘it won’t happen to us attitude’ it’s important to educate your children about fire from the moment they can understand and if they know that it’s something to fear then they’ll be much more likely to be aware of their safety as they grow up.
· It’s a good idea to come up with an escape plan for your family, should a fire occur and detail some form of escape route from every room and a meeting point that everyone should try to get to once they’re outside.
· All kids are taught that the only way to get better at something is to practice so it’s a good idea to get them to practice their fire safety techniques at home. Practicing your family escape plan is essential in order to make sure your children fully understand what they should do if they come across a fire. It’s a good idea to go through it with them a few times first and then let them do it alone so that they can show you that they’ve definitely taken it in.
· Fire safety isn’t something that you should tell your children about and practice once a year it’s something that should be part of your life every day. Preventing a fire is just as important as knowing what to do if a fire starts so make sure you teach your children the basics like the fact that plugs should always be turned off and the cooker should always be turned off. Teaching them simple things like this will not only educate them from an early age how to prevent a fire, it also means that it’ll be much easier for them to recognise a fire and will therefore alert you should they come across one.
Finally, as previously covered, smoke detectors are essential as nearly three quarters of the deaths that occur in house fires are in homes where there aren’t any smoke alarms and by having smoke alarms fitted in your home you could increase the chance that your family gets out by 40-50%.
When it comes to the installation of smoke detectors it’s important to have one in every room if possible but if it’s not then it’s essential to have them spread throughout your home and to have at least one on every floor.
Although the majority of smoke detectors are nowadays connected to the mains electricity they still have batteries, just in case there’s a power cut which means that they need to be tested regularly.
Make sure you and all other family members are familiar with the sound of your smoke alarm and would be able to identify it should it go off. In order to make sure everyone knows the sound of your fire alarm it’s a good idea to gather everyone around each time you test it.
There are so many ways that you can protect your home and children from fire and it doesn’t have to cost you anything – other than buying new batteries every six months – so there really isn’t any excuse for not taking fire safety seriously.
The Safety Centre is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of fire alarms and fire safety equipment for domestic and commercial premises.