Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking residents to protect themselves by ensuring appliances are registered and correctly installed, maintained and used this Home Safety Week. In 2015/16 there were 109 dwelling fires involving white goods across Warwickshire.
Home Safety Week runs from Monday 2- Sunday 8 October with a key focus to raise awareness of the risk of accidental fires caused by home appliances. The service will also be sharing advice on other ways to stay fire safe in the home, including the regular testing of smoke alarms and knowing how best to exit your property.
Community Fire Prevention and Arson Manager, Moreno Francioso said: “Home is the place that people should feel safest. We are encouraging people to follow our safety advice and to share it with their friends and relatives. There are simple changes people can make to help them stay fire safe in their homes; for example never to use electrical equipment or switches when your hands are wet. The combination of electricity, hot surfaces, flexible cables and water can be extremely dangerous.
“For those who may need more help to reduce their risks at home, we now offer a Safe and Well Visit. This free service will provide you with fire safety advice, check that your smoke alarm is working, and offer advice such as help with quitting smoking or for slips, trips and falls.. If you or someone you know would benefit from this service please visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/safeandwellvisit to apply today.”
Warwickshire County Councillor Howard Roberts, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said: “We want everyone in our communities to be independent and safe; being fire safe in the home is a key part of this. Home Safety Week offers the opportunity to focus on what we can all do to help reduce our risks.
“More than half of all accidental house fires start in the kitchen and statistics show that the largest number of house fires caused by electricity is due to people misusing electrical cooking appliances including microwaves and toasters. It is very important that Warwickshire residents take extra care when using appliances in the home.”
Top tips to help keep residents safe include;
· Fit at least one smoke alarm on each level of your home and place one near your kitchen as a priority – Don’t forget to test them frequently!
· Gas appliances should be safety checked and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Set a reminder at www.staygassafe.co.uk.
· While extension leads are very useful, they are probably best used as a temporary measure or for small appliances only
· Fridges and freezers are designed to live indoors – don’t be tempted to install yours in a garage or in areas that may be damp or subject to abnormal temperatures
· When using electrical equipment in the garden, check that the socket you are using has been fitted with a residual current device (RCD)
· For an appliance that does not have an on-off switch (such as irons) be sure to unplug it at the wall when you are finished
· Never leave children alone near cookers, hobs or bubbling pans, and remember that children need parental supervision around any electrical appliance
· Read the instruction booklet that comes with an appliance – there is usually also a brand website with all kinds of additional information about your product
· Plan an escape route for you and your family in case of emergency, and make sure it is kept clear of clutter
For further advice, visit the Register my appliance website which provides up-to-date, accurate information for owners who have acquired specific models of appliances within the last twelve years.
For more information on staying fire safe in the home, log onto https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/safety-and-crime/fire-safety