With the colder days approaching, many families are already looking forward to a cosy night by the fireplace. Old family recipes are also brought out of the cupboard again to enjoy festive meals during the holidays. Thus, kitchens and ovens are often busier during the colder months of the year — an extra reason to be on high alert for fire hazards. In this article, you will find five tips you can follow to make your home or workplace more fire-safe:
1. Avoid electrical overloading
Although this is obvious, it is incredibly important not to overlook. Overloading power circuits creates a major fire hazard. So be sure not to install too many appliances on one power strip. This will prevent sockets from overheating and catching fire. Not sure if your current home has enough power circuits? Then consult this article for installing new groups in the meter cupboard.
What can you do yourself?
Large appliances like refrigerators, ovens or microwaves should have their own sockets to avoid overloading a circuit. In addition, it can help to unplug them if you travel, for example. By the way, this does not apply to the fridge or freezer.
2. Ensure safety in the kitchen
The kitchen generally uses many appliances susceptible to fire and/or flames. While cooking at high temperatures, with a cooker, on gas or an induction hob, heat and thus fire are lurking. Proper maintenance of the kitchen and appliances is therefore crucial to making a kitchen fire-safe.
Whatever you do in the kitchen, don’t leave an open cooker unattended. If you must leave the room, make sure someone else can keep an eye on the fire for you. But if there is no one to hand over that task to, turn off the cooker completely until you can pay attention to it again. You can also set an alarm or timer to remind you that something is cooking in the other room.
3. Remove potential fire hazards
Not all fire hazards are overtly noticeable. A pile of leaves in your front garden seems harmless enough until extreme heat turns it into an unintentional bonfire. Or an after-hours barbecue that blows over in the garden at night after a pleasant evening. Sometimes what causes a fire is random. Therefore, it is not easy to spot and prevent potential fire hazards.
Still, you can be alert yourself and pay close attention to your surroundings. A good time to check that everything is in order is just before bedtime. For example, make it a habit to take a quick walk around the house before bed and have a quick look at the garden to ensure there are no potential dangers.
4. Install smoke detectors
A fire can start at any time of the day and night, and for this reason, it is good to install smoke detectors that alert you as soon as a fire breaks out. The name smoke detector says it all, a smoke detector signals as soon as the air contains smoke, and smoke develops as soon as there is a fire. It is plausible to think that the harm is done by then but this is often not entirely true. When the detector goes off, it is often not too late, and there is still a lot you can do. But, depending on the severity of the situation, smoke detectors sometimes do nothing but announce impending doom.
5. Keep a fire extinguisher within easy reach
Having a fire extinguisher at home or in the office does not directly prevent a fire, but it can certainly help. Using only water to control fire is not always advisable, as fires caused by electrical problems only do greater damage when extinguished with a liquid.
Inspect your fire extinguisher at least once a year to make sure it is still working. Check that there should be no cracks, the locking pin should be in place, and the handle is still securely in place. If you find a defect, consult an expert on whether your fire extinguisher is still good or if you already need a new one.