Christmas is a special time of joy and cheer, and for most people, is a great time to kick back and an unwind for a few days. But it is also a time that we must show extra caution around the house with all the added electrical appliances and decorative candles.
Follow this simple check-list to ensure that everyone stays safe this Christmas at home and at work.
✘ Leave the room when there are candles burning.
✘ Leave young children alone near an open fire or cooker.
✘ Leave matches and lighters where children can get them.
✘ Leave the room when a frying pan is on (even for a minute!).
✘ Overload electric sockets – one socket, one plug.
✘ Use faulty lights and electrical appliances that don’t work.
✘ Use petrol or paraffin to light a solid fuel stove.
✔ Your chimney is clean and your heating system is properly serviced.
✔ To use a fireguard with open fires.
✔ To keep your gas cylinder outside, on solid ground and away from anything hot.
✔ To use a proper holder for candles.
✔ To keep a suitable fire extinguisher and fire blanket in the kitchen.
✔ To empty ashtrays before you go to bed. Run the contents under the tap before you bin them.
✔ To repair or replace faulty electrical appliances immediately.
✔ To do a fire safety check before you go to bed.
✔ Close all doors at night.
Smoke alarms give you an early warning of a fire. 82% of fires that kill people are in homes with no working smoke alarm.
✔ Fit a smoke alarm in every room (except the bathroom and the garage) to protect your home. Fit a heat alarm in the kitchen.
✔ Test your smoke alarms at least once a week.
✔ Change the battery right away when you hear the warning beep.
Know what to do when you hear a smoke alarm so you and your family can get out safely.
✔ Make an escape plan for your home and practise with everyone who lives with you.
✔ Plan at least two ways out in case one way is blocked by fire.
✔ Have a meeting point in a safe place outside the house.
✔ Keep your way out clear; day and night.
✔ Keep the keys to doors and windows nearby.
✔ Know where the nearest phone is to call the fire service.
✔ If you hear the fire alarm, check doors with the back of your hand for heat before you open them. If they are warm, the way might be blocked by fire.
Fire safety check
A fire safety check only takes a few minutes but it could mean the difference between life and death. Make it part of your routine before you go to bed.
✔ Turn off gas appliances.
✔ Make sure all Christmas lights and decorative electricals are switched off.
✔ Put out candles and naked flames.
✔ Place a fireguard in front of open fires.
✔ Empty all ashtrays.
✔ Keep your way out completely clear.
✔ Close all doors.
What to do:
Plan for a safe place in case you cannot get out of the house.
• Make sure there is a phone in the room to call for help.
• Make sure there is a window so you can either get out or call for help. Stay by the window if you can’t get out.
• Close the door and seal the bottom with towels or blankets to stop smoke getting in.
Call 999 or 112
• Ask for the fire service.
• Speak calmly and clearly.
• Give your address and phone number. If you are calling on your mobile, say what county you are in.
• Only hang up when the operator tells you to.
• Go back into a burning house for any reason.
• Borrow batteries from the smoke alarm.
• Have mirrors over fire places with real fires. Your clothes might catch fire if you stand too close to look in the mirror.
• On average 46 people die each year in fires in Ireland.
• Fires do not always happen to other people.
• The next fire could be in your home.
On behalf of the team at Winters Property Management, we wish you a wonderful, safe Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Source: Comhshaol Pobal agus Rialtas Áitiúil (Environment, Community and Local Government)