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Fire Safety In The Home

​​​GGHT is committed to working with its customers to ensure they are as safe as possible whilst at home. 

Fire safety is something that everyone needs to be aware of and there are many simple things that you can do to help keep you and your family safe.​​

GGHT has fitted hard wired smoke detectors/alarms to all its properties and we will service these on an annual basis, as part of your gas safety check​. It is also recommended that you test your smoke alarm on a monthly basis to ensure that it is working correctly and contact us to report any faults.

For more information on general fire safety visit www.facebook.com/firekills​ or check out the Cheshire Fire Risk Information leaflet (pdf).

In addition, here are some simple tips to help prevent the risk of fire...​

  
Accordion Description
  

Chip pan fires cause one fifth of all accidental house fires attended by the Fire and Rescue Service in the UK each year. Nearly 20 people are killed or injured every day in accidental fires that start in their kitchen, the most common of these caused by deep fat frying. If you do choose to deep fat fry your chips, make sure you do it safely. Better still, choose oven chips or use a thermostatic fryer.


Precautions to take:

  • Never fill a chip pan more than a third full of oil. 
  • Consider using a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer.
  • Never leave your cooking unattended. Even if the phone or doorbell rings. Remember – fires start when your attention stops,
  • If you’ve consumed alcohol, don’t be tempted to cook with a chip pan.


If you do have a chip pan fire:

  • Call the Fire and Rescue Service on 999 immediately. 
  • Don’t take risks. Have a clear escape route. 
  • Never move the pan. Turn off the heat (if its safe to do so). Never use water on chip pan fires, as this will cause a fireball.

The most common type of fire is caused by deep fat frying. 4,000 people are injured in these kinds of fires each year.

Think about what you’re doing when you’re deep frying. You’re heating several pints of oil to extremely high temperatures. The oil can not only cause terrible burns, but it can go up in flames. In fact, it’s an ideal fuel for a fire, and difficult to put out.


A few tips:

  • Never fill the pan more than one third full. 
  • Dry food before putting it in (water can make the oil explode). 
  • Test the temperature with a small piece of bread or potato. If it crisps quickly, the oil is hot enough. 
  • If the oil starts to smoke don’t put the food in.  Turn off the heat and leave it to cool. Don’t ever leave the pan unattended. 
  • If there are flames, never throw water over the pan. It will explode.

The safest way to deep fry is to use a thermostat-controlled electric deep fat fryer. Its thermostat stops it from ever overheating. Its also worthy to note that some Fire and Rescue Services will supply certain home owners with Deep Fat Fryers as a replacement for their Chip Pans.​

  

Candles in the home are now getting a more and more popular way to add relaxation to our homes which has seen a large increase in the number of candle related incidents.

In the year 2000 alone, there were over 2,000 house fires due to candles. As a result, 10 people died and over 900 were injured.

As the sales of candles have gone up by 50% this year, this trend is unfortunately going to continue unless people are educated as to the dangers of candles and the damage they can cause.

Candles mark special occasions and create a special atmosphere. They also bring fire into your home. So treat them carefully.


The Do’s and Dont’s 

  • Always put candles on a heat resistant surface. Be especially careful with night lights and tea lights, which get hot enough to melt plastic. TVs are not fire-resistant objects. 
  • Put them in a proper holder. Candles need to be held firmly upright by the holder so they won’t fall over. The holder needs to be stable too, so it won’t fall over either.
  • Position them away from curtains. Don’t put candles near curtains or other fabrics – or furniture. And keep them out of draughts. 
  • Don’t put them under shelves. It’s easy to forget that there’s a lot of heat above a burning candle. If you put it under a shelf or other surface then it can burn the surface.
  • Make sure there’s at least three feet (one metre) between a candle and any surface above it. 
  • Keep clothes and hair away. If there’s any chance you could lean across a candle and forget it’s there, put it somewhere else. You don’t want to set fire to your clothes or your hair.
  • Keep children and pets away. Candles should be out of reach of children and pets. Keep candles apart. Leave at least four inches (10cm) between two burning candles.
  • Take care with votive or scented candles. These kinds of candles turn to liquid to release their fragrance, so put them in a glass or metal holder. 
  • Don’t move them when they’re burning. Extinguish candles before moving them. Also, don’t let anything fall into the hot wax like match sticks. 
  • Don’t leave them burning. Extinguish candles before you leave a room. Never go to sleep with a candle still burning. And never leave a burning candle or oil burner in a child’s bedroom.
  • Use a snuffer or a spoon to put them out. It’s safer than blowing them, which can send sparks and hot wax flying.
  • Double-check they’re out. Candles that have been put out can go on smoldering and start a fire. Make sure they’re completely out.
  

Outdoor activities are often a great way to spend your leisure time but they have their own set of unique fire risks that should not be underestimated. However, some common sense preparation can ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.


Barbecues
A barbecue should be a safe and enjoyable experience but it’s all too easy to be distracted when you have friends and family around you whilst cooking. To avoid injuries or damage to property, follow these simple precautions:


General Safety 

  • Make sure your barbecue is in good working order. 
  • Ensure the barbecue is on a flat site, well away from a shed, trees or shrubs. 
  • Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area. 
  • Never leave the barbecue unattended. Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies. 
  • Ensure the barbecue is cool before attempting to move it.
  • Never barbecue indoors.


Charcoal Barbecues 

  • Use only enough charcoal to cover the base to a depth of about 50mm (2 inches). 
  • Only use recognised fire lighters or starter fuel and only on cold coals – use the minimum necessary and never use petrol. 
  • Never put hot ashes straight into a dustbin or wheelie bin – they could melt the plastic and cause a fire.


Gas Barbecues 

  • Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder. 
  • Change cylinders outdoors if possible or in a well ventilated area. 
  • If you suspect a leak to the cylinder or pipe work, brush soapy water around the joints and watch for bubbles – tighten to fix but do not over tighten. 
  • After cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before turning off at the controls to ensure any residual gas in the pipe work is used up.
  

​Did you know…?

  • You’re four times more likely to die in a fire if you don’t have a smoke alarm that works.
  • 21 people die each year because the battery in their smoke alarm was flat or missing at the time of the fire.
  • Around half of home fires are caused by cooking accidents.
  • Three fires a day are started by candles.
  • Every five days someone dies from a fire caused by a cigarette.
  • Faulty electrics (appliances, wiring and overloaded sockets) cause around 6,000 fires in the home across the country every year.

Click here to download a flyer which covers:
  • Protecting Your Home With Smoke Alarms
  • Safety in the Kitchen – Cooking
  • Electrical Goods, Overloading Sockets & Wiring
  • Cigarettes and Pipes Safety
  • Candle Safety
  • Escape Plans
  • Bedtime Checks
Remember all GGHT homes are fitted with a smoke alarm, which is check every 10 months as part of the annual gas safety check.
  

Did you know?

  • Over 500 children are injured and 11 are killed in fires in the home in England every year.
  • Fires account for nearly half of all accidental child deaths.
  • 6,000 a year are caused by children under the age of 10.
Download this leaflet (pdf) which has been put together for parents and anyone looking after children, including child-minders. It covers:
  • Reducing Risks to Children
  • Sharing Safety Message With Children
  • Making Fire Safety Fun
  • Escape Plans
  

Every household should have some sort of escape plan in place just in case the worst was to happen. Hopefully you will never have to use it, but it is important to prepare for it so there is no delay when it is put into action.

If you are concerned about how you would escape from your home in case of fire, don’t worry, help is at hand. No matter how old you are, or what type of house you live in, the Fire and Rescue Service will help you devise an escape plan, free of charge. More information can be found at: www.fireservice.co.uk​

If you prefer to create your own, then please follow the safety advice below.

Plan Together
Plan together as a family ensuring that all the children in the household know the plan and what to do in the unlikely event of fire occurring.

Special arrangements need to be made in consideration of any elderly people who may live with you and how you will implement the escape.


The Escape Route
Ensure that the escape route is practicable and can be carried out. Talk it through regularly so it’s always fresh. It is also advisable to have a room in which you could all stay in if the worse was to happen. It would be suggested that this room also has a telephone so you can summon help. Make sure all the children know your address in case they have to telephone themselves.


Shout for Help
It’s important to let firefighters know you are there, and if you haven’t managed to call 999 you need to raise the alarm. Lean out of the window to breathe if you need to. Keep drawing attention to yourself. If the window is locked try breaking it with a heavy object. (Always keep window lock keys where they can be easily accessed in an emergency). Strike the window in the corner hard to break the glass.


Escaping
Only escape from a window if you are in immediate danger from the fire. When in the room it is advisable to put bedding or clothes at the bottom of the door to stop the smoke coming in before you all have escaped. If there are two adults, then one should drop first to enable the children to be lowered before being dropped, don’t jump. If you are escaping from an upper bedroom throw out the mattress or bedding to help cushion the landing.


Please Note
Whilst in the perfect world, it would be ideal to leave your house keys in your door locks for an easy escape, we do find ourselves in a society where this is not practicable due to theft etc. If you are worried about the security of your home, it is advised that your keys should be left in a safe and suitable place, and that all the family are fully aware of this, should the worse happen.