Insurance & You

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Our Simple Fire Safety Tips

Each year, emergency services in the UK attend upward of 200,000 fires, with 322 fatalities in 2013/14. The statistics may be alarming, but thankfully there are plenty of simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of fire in your home.

  1. Fit a fire alarm or smoke detector in your home, and be sure to test it regularly.
  2. Don’t leave lit candles unattended, and always place them away from drafts in a safe, unobscured place.
  3. If you have an open fire, use a fireguard - especially when you are not in the room.
  4. Be careful not to overload your electrical sockets.
  5. Always use fireworks at a safe distance from your house, avoiding any over-hanging trees.
  6. Buy one or two fire extinguishers for your home, and make sure you know how to use them.
  7. Switch off electric blankets before getting into bed.
  8. Make sure all electrical appliances are PAT tested for safety.


Watch out for Chip Pan Fires

In our experience, one of the leading causes of fires in the home is chip pans. In 2013, we paid out more than £840,000 in claims for chip pan fires, with the average damage totalling a staggering £34,000 per home.

When using chip pans, it’s important to be extra vigilant. Familiarise yourself with the safety procedure should the worst happen, and reduce the risks by following our top chip pan tips.

  1. Never fill a chip pan more than a third full of oil.
  2. Consider using a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer.
  3. Keep a fire blanket in your kitchen, within easy reach.
  4. Never leave your chip pan unattended.
  5. Dry food before putting it into the pan. Water can make the oil explode.
  6. Test the oil temperature with a small piece of bread or potato. If it crisps quickly, the oil is hot enough.
  7. If the oil starts to smoke, don’t put the food in. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool first.
  8. And most importantly: never throw water over the pan. This will make the fire worse, or may even cause an explosion.


For more information and advice about fire safety in your home, please visit the Fire Service website. It’s full of helpful information and practical advice, covering everything from smoke alarms to escape plans. 

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