We’ve had a great end to the summer, with fantastic weather up to last weekend. But now it appears that autumn is well and truly upon us, the clocks will go back soon, and winter can’t be far behind. And apparently it’s this time of year when fire services receive an increase in calls to domestic incidents caused by candles, heaters, fireplaces and electric blankets.
One fire service – Essex County – has put out some really useful advice to help us stay safe at home. You can read the full piece here, but in summary:
- Have your boiler serviced and, if it’s powered by gas, make sure the company you use is Gas Safe registered.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector.
- Never leave candles unattended and put them out before you go to sleep. Never stand a candle on a flammable surface. Keep them away from windows, curtains, children and pets. And remember that night lights can melt plastic surfaces such as the top of a TV or the inside of a bath tub.
- Heaters should be positioned with their back to a wall or if possible secured to a wall. Switch them off when you’re not in the room or when you go to bed.
- Store and change the cylinders from portable gas heaters outside in well-ventilated areas.
- Gas and paraffin heaters consume oxygen from the atmosphere and create carbon monoxide. So only use them in a well ventilated room. And don’t put them near curtains or furnishings, and certainly don’t use them for drying clothes.
- Check your electric blanket and, if it’s more than 10 years old or shows signs of wear and tear, then replace it. If you buy a new one, make sure it has overheat protection, and that it has the British Standard Kitemark and the BEAB symbol.
- Use a guard with your open fire and have your chimney swept regularly. Extinguish your fire before you go to bed.