6. Portable Heaters
Portable gas and electric heaters can be lethal if poorly sited or misused. Fan and radiant heaters can quickly overheat if covered or obstructed.
Don’t use portable heaters as clothes dryers. Cotton can ignite at 200 degrees celsius whereas an electric fire element is approaching 1000 degrees celsius. No maths needed here. Remember living flame type gas fires need a fire guard.
7. Your Fireplace
If your house has an open fire you should take extra precautions. Sparks from an unguarded fire can smolder for hours before breaking into flame.
Always invest in a fire guard that is of a size adequate to prevent sparks escaping. Don’t stack logs or other combustibles on the hearth adjacent to the fire. Have the chimney swept and inspected for deterioration at least once a year.
8. Boiler Room
By definition having a carbon fuel heating boiler means you have a fire in the home whenever it is lit so don’t ignore the potential for fire.
Avoid accumulating rubbish or combustibles such as paper in a boiler room. Make sure you have an automatic fire safety cut out device fitted (required in all new installations by law). Don’t pile clothes or other combustibles on top of the boiler. As an added precaution fit a Carbon Monoxide detector and alarm to warn of this deadly gas.
A great way to dine but also a significant fire hazard due to irregular burning and variable air flow.
Light the bar-b-q well away from the house, shed, trellising or other combustibles. Use oven gloves and tongs when cooking. Leave the used fire tray overnight before disposing of the ashes.
10. Garden Fires
It is strange but true that many get something of a feel good factor from having a Garden Fire. Getting shut of nature’s clutter and spent glory ready for a new season is satisfying. Trouble is that many part time pyromaniacs apparently take far too little time assessing the risks.
Don’t light fires near buildings. Close any open windows and doors in the house – sparks fly!! Keep the fire small and under control adding material gradually. Have a fire bucket of water or a dry powder fire extinguisher on hand for emergencies.
Top Ten Causes of Home Fires
On average of 350000 fires are dealt with annually by the fire and rescue services. You may be surprised that fires in the home account for only around 15% of the total. Sadly of the 450 deaths arising directly from all fires nearly 80% were in residential houses according to the 2008 statistics. Here’s a list of the most common causes excluding criminal acts such as arson.
Misuse of Matches and Lighters
Faulty Electrical Appliances
Faulty Wiring Circuits
Portable Space Heaters