Accidents while cooking in the kitchen account for half of the fires started in the home, a new publication by the Department of Housing reveals.

The set of recommendations published today are in addition to existing guidance on the Department’s website.

The Framework for Enhancing Fire Safety in Dwellings where concerns arise encourages homeowners to use oil or gas fired heating systems instead of open fires or portable gas heaters. A safe alternative, the report says, is the fixed electric convector heater.

There are some obvious no-nos such as not smoking in bed and overloading electrical sockets. But here are some tips you may not have thought of:

  • Do not use a pan for deep frying, instead use thermostatically controlled deep fat fryers.
  • Get into the habit of closing doors at night. If you want to keep a child’s bedroom door open, close the doors to the lounge and kitchen; it might help to save their life if there is a fire.
  • Do not leave the TV or other electrical appliances on standby as this could cause a fire. Always switch it off and unplug it when it is not in use.
  • Ensure there is no storage in escape routes.

Another one of the recommendations was: “Take care when you are tired.”

For houses at risk, the document lists first-aid firefighting equipment that can be brought into the home, including dry powder extinguishers and fire blankets, but these require training to be used correctly.

However if you are in the room where the fire starts, the advice is not to try to extinguish it but to leave the room, close the door and call emergency services.

There are also details about how to put a fire plan in place.

Framework for Enhancing Fire Safety in Dwellings where concerns arise was written by fire consultants Eamon O’Boyle & Associates and is aimed at homeowners and professional advisors.

For more about fire safety in the home see our article in the Autumn 2017 issue of Selfbuild magazine.

 


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