Fire Safety in the Home

What you will need

  • Smoke alarm
  • Fire blanket
  • Powder fire extinguisher 


Safety note: Unless a fire is very small and can be put out by a domestic fire extinguisher, do not tackle it yourself.


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  • 1 Every home contains potential sources of fire, it is essential to have a smoke alarm in your home. A minimum of 2 smoke alarms, properly located (one on each floor) should suit most homes. For maximum protection, a smoke alarm should be fitted in every room, except the bathroom, kitchen and garage.
  • 2 Test the batteries regularly and replace dead batteries immediately. The ideal site for a smoke alarm is on the ceiling, at least 300mm away from a wall or light fitting. On a wall, the alarm must be 150mm – 300mm below the ceiling.
  • 3 A good tip is to vacuum the smoke alarms regularly and wipe the casing and slots as they can get clogged with dust which may prevent them from working properly. If you have a mains operated smoke alarm, ensure you switch off the smoke alarm at the mains before cleaning and remember to switch it on again.
  • 4 Fire blankets are ideal for kitchen and clothing fires. A fire blanket is the simplest and safest way to extinguish a cooking oil fire.
  • 5 Put a fire blanket within easy reach in the kitchen. Hold the blanket by the tapes in an upright position and gently position over the fire. Turn off the electricity or gas. If someone’s clothes are on fire wrap the blanket around the body lightly to smother the flames.
  • 6 Another essential fire safety item is a fire extinguisher. A powder fire extinguisher is suitable for flammable liquids and electric fires. They are not suitable for use on deep fat fryers – use a fire blanket for this.