Many of us associate fires with autumn, as the smell of burning leaves and wood fills the area around Bonfire Night. These fires bring us comfort and the chance to create happy memories with the ones we love. But a fire at your home could destroy invaluable possessions and even put your loved ones at harm. This is why you should use spring as a time to spruce up your home and reduce the risk of fire.
When you’re performing your annual spring cleaning, there are a few small extra tasks that you can do to lower the risk of a potentially devastating fire. If you’re bringing in a professional cleaning company to carry out your spring cleaning for you, simply ask them to put these jobs on their to-do list to help you out and you should be able to sleep a little sounder at night knowing that you’ve done all you can to improve the fire safety of your home.
Check the smoke alarm while dusting
Ideally, smoke alarms should have their batteries tested every week, with a perfect opportunity presenting itself while you’re doing the dusting. The life-saving gadget will more than likely need a weekly dust anyway. So use this time to check that the batteries still work and replace them if not. Make sure you always have a supply of spares somewhere everyone in your house knows about.
If you haven’t checked yours for a long time, don’t worry too much. You’ve been lucky and all that matters is that you or your professional spring cleaning staff start testing it regularly from now on.
Keep the hob as clean as possible
Did you know that the build-up of grease and burnt food on your hob could increase the risk of a fire starting in your kitchen?
Cooking food in a dirty oven doesn’t just affect the taste of it. It also leads to the risk of burnt scraps becoming cooked so many times that they reach dangerous temperatures that could result in a fire, so it’s important to take the time to clean the inside of your oven regularly. If you don’t like the idea of using chemical-based products in an appliance used to cook food, baking soda has naturally abrasive qualities that are able to remove stubborn dirt.
Food and grease can also quickly build up around the rings of a hob. You can try to clean these after every use once the temperature has cooled down. That way you prevent the dirt from catching fire.
De-clutter to clear escape routes
If you’re unfortunate enough to catch fire, you have to escape quickly. So it’s important to keep clutter to a minimum so that exit routes are not blocked. It’s also a good idea to make sure you know where spare keys are at least once a week while you’re doing the rest of the housework should an emergency arise requiring a fast escape.
Marc House, community safety prevention manager for the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue service, said: “Just two to three breaths of toxic smoke could leave you unconscious, so every second counts when escaping a fire. Having working smoke alarms and knowing the escape plan in an emergency could make all the difference.
If you have dependants or someone less able to care for, it could take more time to get out, stay out and call 999. Make sure you’re always prepared, your exits are clear and everyone knows what to do if the worst happens.”
With this in mind, make sure you’re carrying out these small spring cleaning tasks yourself or hire a professional cleaning company to help with them – it could help to save lives.
RESOURCE – Are you looking for an even more comprehensive guide to Fire Safety, check out the NJREN’s guide.