Fire safety at home

Fire safety at home

Did you know…

  • a smoke alarm could save you in a fire
  • 90 people die each year because their smoke alarm is not working
  • most fires start when people are cooking
  • every 3 days someone dies from a fire started by a cigarette
  • broken electrics start about 7,000 fires a year

Remember! If there is a fire in your home - Get out, Stay out and call 999 - don't try to tackle the fire yourself, and never go back into a burning building.

As more of us self-isolate and spend an increased amount of time at home, it is important to look after your fire safety. You may be spending more time cooking, heating your home, using electrical appliances and lighting candles. There are plenty of ways to keep you and your family safe from the risk of fire at home.

How to stay safe at home:

Fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly

  • fit smoke alarms on each level of your home - it's the simplest, single step you can take to cut the risk of dying from fire in your home
  • test the batteries in your smoke alarm every week and change them every year - never remove them

Find out more about fitting and testing smoke alarms

Take care when cooking

  • more than half of accidental fires in the home start because of something to do with cooking
  • take extra care when cooking with hot oil and don't leave children alone in the kitchen when the hob or oven is on

Get more advice about cooking safely and general kitchen safety

Plan an escape route and make a bedtime check

  • plan a route to escape your home if there is a fire and make sure everyone in the house knows the plan
  • if there's a fire, don't tackle it yourself - get out, stay out and call 999
    check for fire hazards in your home before you go to bed - it takes longer to become aware of a fire when you are asleep.

Make sure you and your family are safe. Plan an escape route

Don't overload sockets

  • try to keep to one plug per socket - too many electrical appliances plugged into one socket can overload it, which can lead to overheating
  • electrical appliances, plugs and cables that are old or poorly wired can also be a real danger

More about electrical appliance fire safety

Cigarettes - Put them out, Right out...

  • more people die in fires caused by smoking than in fires caused by anything else
  • always stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully see 'Smoking safety' for tips to avoid causing a fire if you smoke

Smoking safety advice

Use candles carefully

  • candles, decorative lights and decorations are a growing cause of fires make sure candles are secured in a stable holder and kept away from curtains, fabrics and paper
  • always put candles out when you are leaving the room or going to bed 

Further candle safety guidance

Fire safety advice for emollient users

Emollient products are safe to use and they are vital for the skin conditions that they treat.

When emollient products get onto bedding, clothing, bandages or other fabrics, the dried residue will make the fabric more flammable. This means that if a heat or ignition source comes into contact with the fabric it will catch fire more easily and the fire will burn faster and hotter. This risk exists in emollients that contain paraffin and in those that don’t.

Emollient products and fire safety advice

You can find more fire safety guidance in these leaflets (PDFs open new windows):

You can find more fire safety advice from our website:

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Fire safety at home