Safety – preventing fires at home - Better Lives Healthy Futures

Safety – preventing fires at home

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Accidents involving fires can happen in seconds and pose one of the greatest risks to children, especially toddlers who are naturally inquisitive.

According to the government’s statistics over 400 children under the age of 11 are injured and four are killed every year in England as a result of accidental fires in the home. Children playing with matches and lighters frequently start house fires. Household appliances, smoking, candles and cooking can also cause fires.

Top tips to prevent fires in the home

Always supervise children around electric or real fires.

Fit a British standard fireguard if you have a real fire – secure it to the wall to prevent children tripping and falling into the fire. Never use a fireguard to dry clothes.

Never leave a burning candle unattended and extinguish completely after use. Do not allow children to carry, play, reach over, light or be near burning candles.

Ensure children in Halloween or fancy dress outfits are always kept away from fire, lit candles and all other naked flames.

Keep cigarettes, matches and lighters out of sight and reach of children, and extinguish and dispose of cigarettes properly.

Fit a British Standard smoke alarm and check it regularly.

Fit and use appliances properly according to the installation and safey instructions – including fridges, freezers, washing machines and tumble dryers, ovens, hobs and microwaves.

Have your gas appliances checked every year – this is the responsibility of a homeowner or your landlord.

Never leave pans unattended, especially chip pans.

Remove the plug or usb to prevent overheating when not charging phones, tablets or other mobile appliances. Be aware that chargers can cause burns or shocks – especially if a baby or toddler puts it in their mouth. Never cover a device being charged as this can cause it to overheat and is a fire risk.

Have an escape plan – think how you would get out of your home if there was a fire – practice it and know where keys are for windows and doors should a fire occur.

Search ‘safety’ or see the hot topics and further information sections below for more information on keeping your child safe.

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Further information

Fire safety fun for kids

Downloadable fire safety fun learning materials for kids – including word search and colouring - from West Yorks Fire and Rescue Service Fire Prevention Training Team.

Home fire safety check tool

This interactive Safe and Well learning tool from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will help you be aware of fire hazards in the home and how to prevent them.

Halloween costumes, fancy dress and fire safety

Advice from ROSPA on choosing costumes and keeping children safe when wearing fancy dress.

Firework safety, including sparklers and bonfires

How to safely light bonfires and use fireworks including sparklers. The Firework Code and more from ROSPA to help keep children safe.