Here are some simple things you can do to make your home as safe as possible:
Home and Fire Safety
- You should have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home. Make sure you change the battery each year and test your alarms weekly by pressing the ‘test’ button until it bleeps. South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue offer a free Safe & Well Check, providing residents with fire safety, health and crime prevention advice and information. Smoke alarms can also be fitted free of charge if your home is without one. To request a visit, or for further fire safety information call 0114 253 2314
- You may want to consider having a Care Alarm fitted in your home. Sheffield City Council’s Citywide Wide Care Alarms Service is available to anyone in Sheffield over the age of 18 and can help people remain safe, secure and independent in their own home. An alarm button is worn in and around the home and can give you access to help from a call monitoring centre. Currently the full service, including installation, maintenance, repairs and response from mobile support workers, if needed, is just £4.93 (excluding VAT) per week, or £5.50 (excluding VAT) per week to provide a service via mobile phone technology.
A range of automated alarms are also available from City Wide Care Alarms, to help manage specific risks in the home, such as those associated with falling or memory loss. These alarms could provide the extra help needed to make sure you, or someone you know, can stay at home for longer.
To find out more visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/carealarms or contact firstname.lastname@example.org (0114) 242 0351.
- A carbon monoxide (CO) alarm should be fitted in any home that contains a fuel burning appliance, like a boiler. Make sure they are installed and working correctly.
- Keep electrical leads, cardboard and fabrics well away from the hob and keep ovens, hobs and grills clean. Never leave cooking unattended.
- Hot oil pans cause more deaths in house fires than anything else in the home. Oven chips or thermostat controlled fryers are much safer. If you do use a hot oil pan, don’t fill it more than one-third full of fat or oil and never leave it unattended. If a chip or fat pan does catch fire, don’t put water on it. Get out, stay out and call 999.
- Before going to bed, switch off cookers, washing machines, heaters and other electrical appliances, unless they are meant to be left on, like fridges and freezers.
- Avoid overloading electric sockets with too many appliances and replace any appliances with frayed or damaged electrical cords. Always check that you use the right fuse to prevent overheating.
- If you have an electric blanket, aim to get it tested every 3 years and replace it every 10 years. Make sure you turn off your electric blanket before getting into bed.
- If you smoke, don’t light up if you need to lie down. You could easily fall asleep, setting the bed or couch on fire. Use proper ashtrays and pour water over hot ash before disposal in the bin.
- Keep candles away from anything flammable, things like curtains and keep tealights in a proper holder. Never leave a lit candle unattended.
- Try to secure heaters to a wall to stop them falling over and keep them clear from curtains and furniture. Never use them to dry clothes.
- Always use a fireguard with open fires to stop flying embers and get your chimney swept, at least once a year.
- Keep matches and lighters away from young children
- Avoid bath time scalds by running cold water before hot and carefully testing water temperature.
- To avoid trips, slips or falls make sure halls and stairways are free from clutter and well lit, coil up long electrical wires and clear up any spillages.
- Close internal doors. If a fire does start, this stops it from spreading as fast.
- If you have a mobile phone, take it to bed with you. You can use this to call 999 in an emergency.
- For more information on staying safe in your home visit www.syfire.gov.uk or call our community safety hotline on 0114 253 2314.
Fire Action Plan
If you do discover a fire in your home, get out, stay out and call 999
Choose the best escape route – usually your normal way in and out of your home
If the first route is blocked, think of a second one, and keep those escape routes clear at all times
Make sure everyone knows where to find door and window keys so they can get to them quickly in the event of a fire