Fire safety should be a vital issue for everyone living in rented accommodation. If you are living in rented or shared accommodation there’s an increased risk that you could have a fire and students are at particularly high risk. There are over 70,000 fires in homes across the UK each year.
Fire kills, and if you interfere with equipment such as fire extinguishers, fire alarms and smoke alarms you are risking your own life and endangering the lives of other tenants. What may seem as a harmless bit of fun at the time, such as letting off a fire extinguisher, can lead to the loss of life if a fire should break out in your accommodation.
How to prevent fires
Watch chip pans
Don’t fill them more than one-third full of fat. Don’t leave them without turning off the heat. If a pan catches fire: Don’t throw water on it or try to carry it away. Do turn off the heat and cover the pan with a damp cloth or lid and leave for half an hour.
Don’t leave children alone
Never leave children on their own in rooms where heaters or cookers are being used. Keep matches out of reach.
Don’t smoke in bed
It is one of the most common causes of fires in the home. Always finish your last cigarette or pipe before you go into the bedroom, and make sure that you have put it out.
Switch off and unplug all electrical goods that do not need to be left on. Check ashtrays for burning cigarettes or pipes. Close all internal doors.
Check all heaters
Make sure that they can’t be knocked over and are away from furniture and furnishings. Use a fire-guard and make sure nothing can fall onto heaters. Do not hang washing over heaters.
We not approve paraffin or bottled gas heaters. They are a fire risk and cause condensation. They should never be used.
Remember: If you have a relative or neighbour who is ill, confused or forgetful, try to make sure they are not doing anything that might cause a fire.
Most of our properties will already have a smoke alarm fitted. These should be tested every week by pressing the test button.
If your home does not have a smoke alarm fitted you should install at least one. This will give advance warning of a fire, which will enable you to escape without injury. Smoke alarms can be purchased relatively cheaply at most electrical and hardware stores. The smoke alarm should also be tested each week by pressing the test button.
If you require further advice please contact your local district office.
The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service can provide advice on fire safety in the home free of charge.