When you cut corners you are literally playing with fire, whether you're a homeowner or in rented accommodation, it is important to implement sensible safety measures.
On average, 46 people die each year in fires in Ireland, a frightening statistic but true. However, by incorporating these simple fire safety tips into your everyday routine, you can safeguard both you and your family.
First and foremost there should be a smoke alarm on every storey of your home located on the ceiling. Typically, it should be mounted as close to the centre of the building as possible.
It should be checked at least once a week, the batteries changed every year and if you hear a beep warning, change the batteries immediately.
Fire escape plan
Every household should have a fire escape plan and it should be revised and practised regularly.
Create a simple escape plan by finding at least two escape routes from every room in your home in the event one is blocked by fire.
Never leave electric, gas or oil heaters near furniture, curtains or beds and never leave them on when you go to bed or use them to dry clothes.
Before you head off to bed every night turn off all appliances including phone chargers, blow out any naked flames and place a spark guard in front of the fire.
One socket, one plug
Don't overload electrical sockets, especially around Christmas time. Check all electrical leads and plugs for fraying or deterioration regularly. Switch off all appliances when they are not in use.
Clean your chimney
To be sure your chimney is in full working order, get it cleaned by a certified chimney professional at least once a year. Not only will it prevent fire it will protect your health too.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent killer and it is fatal. It is also important to get boilers serviced annually by an RGI registered installer.
Invest in the right tools
Other than the obvious working smoke alarm (and carbon monoxide alarm), for added reassurance and smaller fires invest in a fire blanket and fire extinguisher and keep them in easily accessible areas.
To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS. Pull the pin, aim low, squeeze the lever and sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
Close all doors
Regardless of whether your heading to bed for the night or out of the house for an hour, close all the doors in your home. Closing doors can decrease the impact if a fire breaks out.
It slows down the spread of flames, smoke and it helps decrease the temperature. It is a small precaution but makes all the difference.
Don't leave lighters or matches where children can get them. Keep them up high out of reach preferably in a cupboard with a lock.
Believe it or not, a majority of fire begins in the kitchen. Stay on guard when you are cooking or baking and never leave any cooking utensils or open flames unattended, not even for a second.
Empty the lint tray on your tumble dryer after every use, not only does it improve the dryer efficiency, it reduces the risk of fire. Make sure not to overload the dryer and give it time to cool down after a cycle.