When a property is ravaged by fire, the effects can be devastating. Flames can overcome a home, office, factory or other building in minutes leaving behind unthinkable and expensive damage, so it’s important to take appropriate fireproofing measures.
Here are five expert tips to help you out:
- Use fire retardant paints
Flame retardant paints like these are designed to stop or delay fires and can dramatically reduce the damage caused. Available in an array of colours and textures, fire retardant paints are not only suitable for ceiling and walls but can also be used to protect timber, metal and fabric, so it’s well worth investing in such products and applying them whenever possible –particularly in kitchens, living rooms with an open fire and other places where a blaze might start.
- Buy fire resistant furniture
Did you know that all upholstered furniture including sofas, beds, garden furniture, cushion fillings and so on must meet fire resistance standards? It must be compatible with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations and while new furniture must be appropriately labelled at all times, second hand furniture made after 1950 must also be fire resistant and meet certain tests. So, if you think your furniture is not fire resistant, stop using it immediately and look for alternatives. You should also find proof of purchase and complain to the trader.
- Make sure appliances are correctly installed
In the UK, over 20,000 accidental house fires are caused each year by electricity – nine out of 10 being caused by electrical products. This is a staggeringly high number, so it’s essential to check the condition of your wiring regularly and to inspect plug sockets for signs of burn marks or blackening. You should also turn off anything electrical that you’re not using – particularly overnight – and regularly check flexible cables on kettles for signs of fraying and general wear and tear.
- Install fire alarms
Many fires occur at night when everyone is sleeping. This can be devastating, so to prevent serious accidents, injuries or even death, be sure to install a fire alarm on every floor of your home. These are specially designed to make a loud noise if smoke or a rise in temperature is detected and could potentially save your life. If you already have fire alarms, make sure you check them often to ensure they’re still working and have plenty of battery life left.
- Don’t leave open flames unattended
There’s nothing quite like a log fire to make a house feel like a home, but as beautiful as it is, an open fire is a potential hazard and should never be left unattended. The same applies to candles, incense burners and anything else that could potentially start a fire, including cigarettes. Dropped cigarettes have been the cause of many a blaze, so take great care if you smoke inside your home.
Fireproofing your property is of paramount importance, so follow the tips above and keep everyone as safe as possible.