When it comes to your home, it's important to take every step to protect you and your loved ones from a fire breaking out.
According to the latest Fire Statistics Monitor, published by the Home Office, fire and rescue services attended to around 528,000 fire-related incidents in England between April 2015 and March 2016 — a 7% increase on 2014/15 figures.
The report revealed fires in the home to be the most common type of fire, accounting for 43% of all serious fires recorded in 2015/16.
Here's a guide on how you can plan for fires and what to do if one starts in your home. We've also included some tips on preventing fires from starting in the first place.
To help you prepare for a fire, make an escape plan for you and your family. Identify the most practical escape route (usually via the front or back door) and think of a second route as back-up. Try to keep these routes clear at all times.
Run through the plan a couple of times with your family, this is particularly important if you have younger children, as it will help familiarise them with the process. Make sure everyone in the house knows where the keys to all doors and windows are kept, and identify a 'safe spot' outside your house where you can all gather in the event of a fire.
If a fire breaks out in your home, the main priority's getting everyone out safely. Do not waste time attempting to rescue your possessions.
If you're unable to escape from your planned route:
According to the Government's Fire Safety in the Home report, you're four times more likely to die in a fire if you don't have a smoke alarm that works. An approved smoke alarm should be installed on every level of your home, ideally on the ceiling and in the centre of the room.
Test each alarm at least once a month, pushing the button until the alarm sounds. Batteries should be replaced at least one a year.
Half of all home fires are a result of cooking accidents, states the fire report. Here are some ways you can prevent a kitchen fire:
Faulty electricals (including appliances, wiring and overloaded sockets) are the cause of around 6,000 fires across the country every year. Ways you can avoid electric fires include:
Someone dies every six days from a fire started by a cigarette, explains the report. Obviously, the key piece of advice here is to not smoke inside of the home. If you do smoke inside of your home, you must:
If you rent your home, your landlord has a number of fire safety responsibilities. They must:
In the unfortunate event of a house fire, having quality home insurance can help you to recover as quickly as possible.
With a combined buildings and contents policy, the bricks-and-mortar of your home and all your possessions are covered. So in the event of a fire, you're likely to receive financial compensation to replace or repair damage to your home and any belongings. Take a look at our guide to buildings and contents insurance for more information.
If you're after a good deal on your home insurance, get a quote with Hastings Direct today.
Our refreshingly straightforward home insurance is Defaqto 5 Star rated, so you can be sure you're getting a great product. Plus you can choose from a great range of optional extras.