Fire safety isn’t always the most exciting thing to read about, but doing so is well worth it. Small changes can make a big difference, and adapting your home is achievable by following a few simple steps. Here is our digestible guide by top MEP Engineers to making your home safer:

The kitchen

When cooking, never leave anything unattended and keep grill-pans as free from fat build-up as possible. Avoid wearing loose clothing and keep tea towels away from the hob when frying. Both of these could easily catch on fire. Once you’re finished in the kitchen, double check that everything is switched off.

Reducing the Risk of FireLighting

Purchase fire rated down lights that have the same fire rating as your ceiling to minimise the chance of fire spreading. If you don’t know what your ceiling rating is, don’t worry; it’s easy to find out. One layer of plasterboard equates to a 30 minute fire rating. If you have two layers, the rating will be 60 minutes and three layers will equal 90 minutes.

Smoke alarms

A smoke alarm will only be able to save you if its batteries are working, so test them regularly. If you’re using standard batteries, these need to be changed once a year. Do not leave this to chance. You’ll need a smoke alarm fitted on every floor in your house. It’s a good idea to place them in the middle of the ceiling where they won’t be set off by accident.

Electrical appliances

All electrical leads and adaptors will have a limit to how much power they can take. It’s important that you never exceed this as it could result in a fire. Also, make sure that all of your appliances carry the UK or us safety mark. If you can’t see this, then don’t use them. If you spot wiring that is worn or damaged, replace this immediately and keep all appliances as clean as possible.

Candles

Always ensure that candles are placed in the correct size holders and never put them near a curtain. Do not leave them unattended and put them out as soon as you have finished using them. The best way to do this is with a spoon as blowing will increase the chance of sparks flying. Finally, keep small children away from them at all times.

Smoking

When you have finished smoking, make sure that you put out your cigarette in an ashtray that is made from non-flammable materials. Never leave these, along with cigars, pipes etc. within reach of small children or in places where they could fall and start a fire. Be very careful when smoking whilst tired, in bed or taking prescription drugs. You could easily fall asleep in these circumstances and set something on fire.

Escape routes

Plan at least two of these for your home and make sure that they remain clear. It is a good idea to practice them regularly. If you change the layout of your house, then make sure that you reconsider your escape routes as well. If a fire strikes and these are blocked, get to a room with a window and a telephone. Close the door and place towels at the bottom of it to prevent smoke from entering the room. Dial 999 and shout for help immediately.