Interiors: Preparing for winter- let’s talk safety!

Posted on Sep 25 2019 - 9:00am by Samantha Clark
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It’s that time of year we want to curl up by the open fire with a steaming hot cup of hot chocolate and gorge on home comforts.

Sounds idyllic right? For sure!

But as we spend more time by our fires, more time in the kitchen, we need to make sure our appliances and homes, are up to speed when it comes to safety. We’d recommend embarking on the following safety checks over the next few weeks.

Get your fire serviced

Fireplace

Your fireplace should be inspected at least once a year by a professional. They’ll ensure there is no blockages, damages, and give it a clean to ensure it’s fully operational for the next year. Even if you think you don’t use it, it’s still advisable. And at between £50-£100 per year for that peace of mind, it’s well worth it.

Check your fire alarms

Your fire alarms should have a test button on it, this allows you to check that they’re still operational. If they’re battery powered (and not connected to the mains) whether you feel they need replacement batteries or not, it is advisable to do so.

Battery powered smoke alarms are the cheapest on the market. But we’d strongly encourage you invest in having smoke alarms connected to the mains. This will mean, in the event the battery fails, the alarms will still be operational and vice versa, if the electrics fail, the battery will operate as a back-up.

If you’re yet to install smoke alarms, we strongly encourage you to do so. You may also be entitled to free Home Fire Safety Checks or Home Fire Risk Assessments from your local fire department. They will come and assess your existing provisions, determine any potential fire risks and help you to establish an evacuation route in the event of a fire.

Buy a CO2 alarm/Check your CO2 alarm

Carbon monoxide is an odourless, toxic gas. If you have carbon-based fuel appliance in the home, you should have a CO2 alarm. A carbon-based fuel appliance includes coal, wood and gas burning fires, gas cookers etc.

You should have an alarm near each fuel-burning appliance or in a central location. It may be best to have one nearer the appliances and one near the bedrooms.

Like your fire alarms, your CO2 alarms should be checked at least annually to make sure they’re operational.

Replace any damaged cables

I don’t know how it happens but I frequently see a frayed cable in the house (particularly when it comes to chargers!). Whilst you’re on a safety mission, be sure to check your cables for any damages and seek to replace them. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially as cables are relatively cheap to replace.

Don’t overload power outlets

It’s getting to that time of year where we’re plugging in more items. Lamps, Halloween lights and of course Christmas decorations. But overloading power sockets is one of the most common causes of fires. If you feel like you need to plug in more things, it may be worth having an electrician put a new outlet in to make it more convenient and safer.

Additionally, if you’re finding light switches or power outlets are warm to touch, it’s worth getting it checked out by a qualified electrician.

Speaking of Christmas…

When you get your lights out this year, be sure to check for any damages to the wires whilst they’ve been in storage, the battery packs haven’t been exposed to moisture and the bulbs are all operational.

Check your outside lighting

House

Having lighting outside of your front door will help keep away burglars and help you to get into your house easily and safely as the nights draw in earlier. We appreciate it’s more of a nice to have but can make a huge difference.

We hope these tips have proved helpful. Nothing like a little bit of peace of mind!

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