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Talk to More Th>n about fire safety in your home - £240 voucher to be won NOW CLOSED

(136 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 02-Dec-13 11:18:07

More Th>n would like to find out what tips Mumsnetters have to improve fire safety in their homes.

Here’s what More Th>n have to say, "Our Helping Hands series is about providing little hints and tips that can make everyday life a little bit easier. But we also want to share advice that can help with more important matters, like Fire Safety. It's a situation we all hope never to find ourselves in, but it's important to have a plan in place should a fire break out in your home to keep you and your loved ones safe. If you have any other safety advice and ideas, we'd love to hear them."

To get some inspiration, watch the video below and share your own tips on this thread.



What do you think of the tips given in the video? Do you use any of these in your home already? Have you spoken to your DCs about fire safety in your home? What do you do in the way of fire safety? Do you have a fire blanket in your kitchen in case of emergencies? Or maybe you just make sure that you keep any candles out of reach of small children? Whatever it is to improve fire safety in your home we’d love to hear about it.

Everyone who adds their comments will be entered into a prize draw to win a £240 Amazon voucher.

Thanks and good luck,

MNHQ

ShatnersBassoon Mon 02-Dec-13 11:26:56

We have a fire escape plan that the children are aware of. It's not something that we bang on about or frighten them with, but I'm confident they could get themselves out even if DH and I couldn't help them.

We have a wood-burning stove which obviously increases our risk of a house fire, but we make sure the chimney is swept regularly. I think having this makes our children more conscious of the danger of fire because it serves as a constant reminder - they know that it's not something to mess around with, plus they don't find fire especially exciting as some of their friends do who aren't used to seeing real fires.

MaryXYX Mon 02-Dec-13 13:04:52

It's a bit different for me now. I live in a flat that only has electricity, which should reduce the risks. Mind, the first weekend I moved in I set fire to my microwave by over cooking a Christmas Pudding!

I don't smoke or use candles so my risk level should be pretty low (out of Christmas Pudding season ...)

One point I'm not entirely happy about is the standing orders for the flats: "If the fire alarm sounds, stay in your flat".

WaitingForPeterWimsey Mon 02-Dec-13 15:58:47

Has reminded me to do another test on the smoke alarm!

I'm a fire warden at work and after I'd attended a fire safety / awareness course there, I bought a small powder fire extinguisher and fire blanket for home, both of which are in the kitchen.

The training made me feel confident enough in the operation and use of the extinguisher to think it was worth having.

DD (6) is familiar with the fire escape plan at her childminders and they have done fire drills to practice, so we have discussed (but not practised) a similar thing at home.

Following the training, I also now keep our house keys (locked) in the front door at night, so if we were to need to get out in a hurry, we're not scrabbling around for the keys.

We have had plan since mine were young, we live in a flat with no way out except the front door, if there is a fire in the hall my DS knows to stay in his room and open the window to shout for help, we are to high up to jump. My DD could climb out of her window and stand on the balcony. They both know to Feel the door before they open them to see if they are warm.

We have a fire door on a chain for the kitchen, i am guilty of wedging it open must go back to closing it before bed.

TiredDog Mon 02-Dec-13 16:28:37

I've just had some rewriting as I'm aware that electrical fires are v common.

I have one smoke alarm but only test yearly. We have considered escape routes and discussed with DC. I think this is very important. I've made it clear that kids leave without stopping to gather belongings, phone or dog. I have my mobile at all times so would phone the 999 once out. There is always a key by the door or in the door.

Candles are mostly enclosed in holders so no stray skirts catching alight.

We don't have a real fire and we have no need for matches, so we don't keep them in the house. We have one lighter for birthday candles. Now and again I will light some tea lights, but I am super paranoid about them and will only light them if I know I won't be leaving that room for a while.

Our DDs are too young to explain the fire drill to, but we are lucky enough to have our back door upstairs, so I feel that it would be a lot easier to get out, should we have to.

Our smoke alarm is also super sensitive. Just the oven being on is enough to set it off some days.

redgate Mon 02-Dec-13 16:45:25

We had a free check from the fire brigade, they helped us do a plan and they also are aware that my little one uses a wheelchair and can flag our address on their system to show we can't leave quickly. Great idea about making the key bright, will do that - we have a window key on a little hook but will think about making it easier to spot.

olaybiscuitbarrel Mon 02-Dec-13 17:30:25

I always shut the downstairs doors before going to bed, keep the key to the back door in a low cupboard next to the door (so it's not visible or reachable from a burglary pov but easy to find in a fire), and have the alan key for our bedroom window next to the bed (it's at perfect height for a child to fall out of so we have to keep it locked). Also turn off plug sockets at the wall where practical.
An ex-fire officer once told me that if you have to get out of an upstairs window with a baby, take the duvet off the bed, open the cover and pile the duvet in one corner. Then place the baby on top of the duvet and lower out of the window. He also said that lots of people break their legs jumping out of the window when they could have sat on the ledge and just lowered themselves down, but they just panic - which is why it'ssucha good idea to think about what you would do in advance.

CheeseTMouse Mon 02-Dec-13 17:56:07

We have a fire blanket in the kitchen and smoke alarms. I hadn't thought about things like the spare key tip, so we will do that.

I am paranoid about decorative candles and leaving them on, so I just won't have them on the house. Similarly I won't fry chips in oil either as I get worried...

KnitActually Mon 02-Dec-13 20:43:21

when we got our windows replaced we chose less attractive styles that could act as a fire exit. I was surprised to hear that, although the regulation for new build is for the fire exit type to be compulsory, people who were replacing a non-safe window were perfectly at their leisure to do so.

KnitActually Mon 02-Dec-13 20:43:45

that is, replacing a non-safe window with a non-safe window

missorinoco Mon 02-Dec-13 21:39:36

This has reminded me to get my smoke alarms fixed.
All matches and candles are at adult height. Candles are only lit when the children are in bed, excepting Halloween and Xmas, and at those times we are present in the room.

No fire blanket.
I don't have a fire escape plan with the DC, I think they are too small, but would consider it when they are a little older.

All keys kept in a key pot. I like the idea of a spare key, but DH would pinch it when he had forgotten his and then forget to tell me.....

sharond101 Mon 02-Dec-13 21:52:02

We are in a new house and haven't revised our fire plan so that's on the to do list now. Thanks for reminding me.

Spirael Mon 02-Dec-13 22:00:31

This is actually something I've been considering recently, as we are a three storey house and early next year we are planning on moving DD to the top floor in order to make space on the second floor for when her sibling is born.

I am currently researching getting an emergency escape ladder to keep on the top floor, in case a fire is blocking any escape down the stairs. Hopefully it'll just sit and gather dust! Semi related, I also want to build another emergency grab-bag for first aid to keep on the top floor.

Aside from that, we already have a fire blanket in the kitchen and I keep a powder fire extinguisher downstairs too. However after having done a fire safety course at work and seen the different extinguishers in action, I want to upgrade that to a carbon dioxide extinguisher!

At every external door we have a key within easy grabbing range from the inside, though hidden from any burglars. We're lucky enough to have a very modern house with fire alarms that are all connected, so if one sounds they'll all sound. Lastly, I have a separate carbon monoxide alarm near the boiler/hob.

tiredoftrains Mon 02-Dec-13 22:08:48

We have an open fire which, whilst lovely, does make me worry about fires. DS is only 3 but has had it drilled into him that fires are extremely dangerous and he is not to go near which thankfully he seems to respect!

we have 3 fire alarms which I set a reminder on my phone to check monthly as otherwise I forget.

We don't have any fire blankets or extinguishers - my strategy would be to grab DS and run!

CMOTDibbler Mon 02-Dec-13 22:12:01

We have a fire plan, mains smoke alarms in several places, fire extinguisher, and are very careful about candles etc.

DH works in insurance, and so is super paranoid about house fires

HappySunflower Mon 02-Dec-13 22:41:13

I think the tips are good common sense, some I use, but there are some that I hadn't thought of before.
I have spoken to my child about basic safety, not going near the cooker, etc but nothing more specific as she is very little.
I have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen but not a fire blanket. Will get one now though I think.
I keep a torch in my bedroom and in the hallway and make sure that candles are not at child or cat height.

Hopezibah Mon 02-Dec-13 23:35:31

What do you think of the tips given in the video?
I like the idea about a key in a drawer. Our window keys always seem to go missing so might be good to do that!

Do you use any of these in your home already?

yes we check alarms very regularly.
we have a meeting point too.

Have you spoken to your DCs about fire safety in your home?
yes - and we practice a fire drill too. We let them practice unlocking the door with a key in case they ever need to in the middle of the night.

What do you do in the way of fire safety? Do you have a fire blanket in your kitchen in case of emergencies? Or maybe you just make sure that you keep any candles out of reach of small children?

yes we have a fire blanket in kitchen, I used to childmind and it was a requirement but have kept it there for our own use (well actually I hope we will never need to use it). we keep candles high up out of reach.

we also vacuum the smoke alarms once in a while as the fire officer said that helps keep dust away from the sensors.

Steffanoid Mon 02-Dec-13 23:48:48

we have a fire blanket, no alarms though. im ashamed of that,I have the forms from the fire service as they fit alarms for free but it is right at the back of my mind and I remember at completely innapropriate times blush

NicNak71 Mon 02-Dec-13 23:54:44

We have an evacuation plan and a flexi ladder made especially as a fire escape ladder, it attaches quickly to the wall and goes out the window. It's like a rope ladder, but obviously made from fire resistant stuff, just in case the fire is downstairs and we can't escape that way. We always keep a torch with our door key attached to it on a ring and bring a mobile phone upstairs at night.

I switch off all the plugs at night and close all the downstairs doors. We also do "Thumbs up on Monday", put your thumb up and test the smoke alarms every Monday, this was a campaign by the fire brigade and we still get the adverts on tv a lot. I also invested in a carbon monoxide detector last year.

I have a fire blanket on the kitchen wall and a small fire extinguisher. If we light the fire, we always let it die down late evening, rake it out and put the fire screen in front of it.

I do love candles and I do burn them, but never within reach of the children, double checking that they are out is part of my night time routine. I generally only buy jarred candles or put them inside a hurricane lamp. I never tend to burn exposed candles.

telsa Tue 03-Dec-13 09:18:20

We have good quality fire doors in our flat, so any fire should be contained for some time. The children know the fire drill and we have talked through the best things to do. Luckily we are ground floor with lots of windows.

BertieBowtiesAreCool Tue 03-Dec-13 09:25:36

Steffan you can pick them up at supermarkets for about a fiver, stick one in the trolley next time you go shopping smile

30SecondsToVenus Tue 03-Dec-13 09:33:25

I check my smoke alarm every couple of weeks and I have recently bought a fire blanket for the kitchen.

My dcs are very young (4 and 5 months) so I havent had a chat about fire safety yet but its something I will do in the future. Its interesting to read other peoples thoughts on fire safety in the home.

I am careful not to leave phones and tablets charging overnight and I ensure that everything is switched off properly before I go to bed at night. I dont leave anything near the fire and always have the guard up regardless of dcs being in bed or not. Its something ivr always been concerned about and I keep a key next to me at night incase we ever have to escape

Fairylea Tue 03-Dec-13 10:16:08

We are very fire conscious and we do alot of the tips in the video.

Dd knows how to get out and what to do in a fire. Its really important people talk to their dc about what to do. We're all so worried about stranger danger these days we forget about house fires which are far more likely!

I try and keep the keys next to me at night. We also have a smoke alarm which I test every few months.

I am paranoid about fire and have an escape plan in my head. DD still sleeps with us, but when she is in her own bed I will ask the fire brigade to come around and do an escape plan with us so that everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire.

I had some friends who were in a fire - the worst thing for them was that their own survival instinct kicked in, so both adults ran outside. They then had to run back in to get their kids. Luckily everyone made it out safely, but I guess we have no way of knowing what we will do when in that situation. At least if we have a plan then hopefully, our intelligent brain will kick in, instead of our panicking lizard brain.

BornToFolk Tue 03-Dec-13 10:46:31

A good tip I heard once was to change the batteries on your smoke alarm on New Year's Day each year. Obviously you need to check them regularly too but I thought it was a good way to remember to put new batteries in.

I also read on MN that leaving your laptop on a sofa or other soft surface can be a fire risk if it overheats so I now always make sure I leave it on the coffee table when not being used instead.

I really need to get a fire extinguisher and blanket for the kitchen.

DS (6) has never shown much interest in matches or candles until recently but now asks for candles to be lit, or to use a match...hmm Of course, I tell him not to touch matches or lighters. I do light candles in the evening but make a point of blowing them out before bedtime. Anyway, his recent interest has meant that I am now extra cautious about putting matches, lighters and candles well out of his reach, as well as telling him that they are not to be touched.

TwoLeftSocks Tue 03-Dec-13 10:48:22

We have alarms that we check regularly (which the fire brigade put up and said were in sensible locations). Don't smoke or have candles out, other than for birthdays, and have the matches well out of reach of small hands.

We don't have a fire blanket so that's something we might invest in.

We sort of have a fire plan, we know how we could possibly get out if we couldn't get to the front door, and the front and back door are on yale locks so we wouldn't get locked in. Our eldest knows to stay in their room too so we'd know where to find them.

CrewElla Tue 03-Dec-13 10:49:25

We have a spare key on the shelf by the front door so that it is easily accessible if we need to get out during the night.

We also have our mobiles by our bedside so we always have access to an independent light source.

Our boys are too young to talk to about fire safety but the eldest does know what hot things are and to stay away.

BobaFetaCheese Tue 03-Dec-13 10:49:27

DH is emergency services & I'm ex so we're very welfare/safety concious (not OTT, I should add), best piece of advice I've got is have a short 'safe word' (like Zulu or something you'd never, even accidental on predictive text, send them) you can text each other incase you're on the phone to emergency services, on your only handset or you know OH is unable to answer their phone because they're at work/driving/it's off etc.

We have keys in the door at all times.
Extinguisher & fire blanket in the kitchen, burnshield (spray and a facemask) in the first aid box.
Optical smoke alarm in every room (including bedrooms).

DS's are too young (almost 2 & 4 months) to care about safety so to make safe; oven is always off unless it's in use, and when it is on we make a big song and dance about how much it hurts when we touch it if DS1 is in the room.

500internalerror Tue 03-Dec-13 11:27:33

We have smoke alarms, an extinguisher, a blanket, and an escape ladder . But I know we would find it hard to get out in a fire because we're in such a lock down against burglars. It's a balancing act trying to get it right.

iwantavuvezela Tue 03-Dec-13 12:04:27

After reading this I am going to make sure that the smoke alarms are tested!
I also saw on the video about the spare key, and I think I am going to use that idea - it often takes me about 5 minutes every morning to find my set of keys, so i need to have one that is easily reached by any one in our family.
I will think about a fire blanket and extinguisher - especially now that we are using a wood burner.
This is a timely remidner to look at this

I dont have any extra tips, except that we do have clear exits in our house, (both from upstairs if needed) and downstairs .... but i should have a front door key readily available in case this was needed.

ChaffinchOfDoom Tue 03-Dec-13 12:07:43

I never ever have candles in my house; I don't want any naked flames anywhere.
Have 2 smoke detectors, got them fitted by the local fire brigade when we moved in - it's free, just ring them (not on 999 though...) google your local number.
never leave pans on the hob cooking unattended, again that's a thing I do now we have dc.
we had our back door changed to a fire door, it is reassuring to know the garage is behind a fire door.
At night I close internal doors downstairs, keeps it warm and would slow spread of a house fire. The firemen told me the more open plan living in houses today = bigger, more damaging fires generally.
Am a bit OCD with appliances, never leave the iron on unattended, and nobody ever smokes here.
A house fire would be my worst nightmare. We have an escape plan and got the kids fire safety books from the library explaining about staying low / not touching door handles etc.

anythingforaquietnight Tue 03-Dec-13 12:14:05

I had a chip pan type fire in the kitchen when my eldest was a newborn. Luckily I managed to put it out and the fire service turned up as well, but it was terrifying and the smoke damage from such a quick event was astonishing. I have been very conscious of the need to have proper precautions in place ever since then. Along with smoke alarms etc, a fire escape plan and keys in doors and easily openable window we keep torches upstairs to help find our way out through the smoke.

Maiyakat Tue 03-Dec-13 12:43:56

DD is a toddler so the only live flames used are for the gas fire and for cooking. No candles! We have a very securely attached fire guard. She is too young for a fire escape plan.

This thread has reminded me to test the smoke alarm!

autumncolour Tue 03-Dec-13 12:47:48

We have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. We use LED candles instead of the real ones.

We had a house fire 10 years ago when DS1 was a toddler. We were both in the house, I was on the third floor, DS1 was having a nap in his room on the second floor and the smoke alarms went off. I grabbed DS1 and got us both out. It was one of the most frightening things I have ever experienced, we lost so many possessions but at the end of the day were both safe. The fire alarms saved our lives.

We have fire alarms on every floor which are tested monthly. We don't have a meeting place but do have a fire escape plan and both boys know to get out and stay out.

Keys are kept in doors (but not accessible by burglars) and window keys are easily accessible. Each room upstairs has a torch and we have a phone on the top floor in case of being trapped and not having mobile etc.

ILiveInAPineappleCoveredInSnow Tue 03-Dec-13 17:42:40

We agave and fire escape plan from each room in the house. DH and I have also planned who will get which child should we be in bed, and how we would get out.

We have and key box on the wall by the front door where the keys are always kept, so we can get out in the event of a fire, and the key is always left in the back door.

We do not lock any of the windows now, but when my ds1 was small, we locked his window and then blu-tacked the key high on the wall by the window out of his reach, but so we could easily get it if needed.

We have hard wired smoke detectors which we test regularly, and ds1 knows that if the smoke detector goes off, he needs to follow his fire plan to get out of the house safely if possible, and if he cannot get out of his room, he knows the plan for him to stay safely there to await rescue.

We re due to move to a new house after christmas, which will have three floors, and due tot heh eight of the drop from the third floor,we will be purchasing rope ladders for the top rooms as part of our fire escape plans.

Punkatheart Tue 03-Dec-13 18:21:28

I have to check my teen's room - as she leaves things on all the time....

BertieBowtiesAreCool Tue 03-Dec-13 19:04:21

Boba I don't understand the zulu thing - can you explain a bit more please?

BornTo DS is 5 and has started to show an interest in fire and ask for candles to be lit or for me to put a lighter on because it makes a light. We keep things high up and I don't think he would touch them but you never know, it does worry me. I have told him loads of times that they are only for grown ups and if you play with them then you might burn yourself which would hurt a lot, if he does find one he comes and gives it to me or DP immediately.

DP and my in-laws have such a blase attitude to fire safety, it worries me sick. They don't have smoke alarms, they smoke in the house, they have a wood burning stove which is probably ancient, and always on because they have no central heating. (Also calor gas heaters around the place). They also have polystyrene ceiling tiles in the kitchen (which is between the stairs and the outside doors) and all of the bedrooms! The kitchen ones are actually warped they are so old and (presumably) have been exposed to such extremes of temperature constantly. DP reckons they don't need smoke alarms and wouldn't want or accept them because they have dogs who would bark if there was a fire confused I am lucky that I have never experienced a house fire but I have read how quickly the smoke can become overwhelming and you can lose your bearings in your own house. I dread to think what would happen if they did have one, I doubt they'd get out alive.

unadulterateddad Tue 03-Dec-13 21:35:18

Absolutely have a fire plan and make sure you can find your way around in the dark

Leave keys in door or window or have a pot in the bedroom with the emergency keys in it, if a room is filling with smoke it can be really difficult to find hooks or drawers in what is often a panicked or disorienting situation.
Have a torch ready in the bedroom as well and make sure DC know what the fire alarm sounds like so they can respond when they hear it

unadulterateddad Tue 03-Dec-13 21:36:48

oh and shut doors when going to bed.

BobaFettTheHalls Tue 03-Dec-13 21:44:16

No probs Bertie, I'm rubbish at explaining things; say you're on the phone to 999 (on mobile) and you navigate your way to the text screen, just text OH 'zulu' so they know there's something up at home (quicker than 'XYZ happened, we're safe, get home etc').

Or if your somewhere without your phone/unable to speak but someone else texts/rings them on your behalf if they say Zulu your OH should know it's not a hoax (it's quiet common that people don't believe you're a police officer etc phoning them about a family member, especially when you're v.young sounding on the phone)!

DH can't answer his phone at work, but can sneak a quick glance at texts so it's the easiest way of letting him know something's up so he can contact me.

Hope that's slightly better explained!

VerySmallSqueak Tue 03-Dec-13 21:50:04

DD1 had a fire safety talk at school and ended up quite fearful about us having a fire because of it.

This means that I have had to demonstrate to her that we are keeping her safe,with smoke alarms etc.

DH has been on a fire safety course so is very 'up' on it,and I have had to evacuate a house in the night because of a house fire,so we do take it seriously.

clubnail Tue 03-Dec-13 23:23:36

We are currently in a flat on the fourth floor. If we can't make it out of the door, we have rock-climbing ropes and harnesses by the lounge window. Hope it never comes to it, DS is three so one of us would have to strap him to us, but better than staying put.

Smoke alarms are a given which we regularly test by burning dinner.

KateOxford Wed 04-Dec-13 12:07:46

We don't use candles, except for birthdays. We don't have a fireplace and don't smoke so those risks are minimal. That said we do have a gas hob and I did recently set light to a piece of greaseproof paper that had been left in the grill so fire safety is something I need to think about more. We did invest in three dual smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for our two storey house and my son knows to shout for me if it goes off. It actually shouts fire which he at the age of 3 understands is very serious. It actually scares him which I think is no bad thing. We always stop to talk to the fire brigade at events and all learn something. I think it's so important to make children aware of the risks. We have windows which open wide enough to escape from and always keep keys within reach for locked doors.

Worry about house fire is one of the things I am randomly anxious over, no particular reason. Just had a house check by the fire dept and she was happy with the house though (gave us a free deep fat fryer too as we had a chip pan!). Need to start explaining it to my eldest (3) but am worried I'll pass on my paranoia.

BertieBowtiesAreCool Wed 04-Dec-13 13:20:28

Oh I see, that is clearer. I was wondering why you'd text while on the phone to 999 though, wouldn't you wait until you'd finished?

Lol club, I never test mine either because I'm always "testing" it by cooking bacon!

ILoveAFullFridge Wed 04-Dec-13 14:59:57

We have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, but it is deliberately kept too high for the dc to reach easily. They know that, if they are alone in the house and the smoke detector goes off, their job is to get out straight away and go to a neighbour to call for help. Dc1 is 13, and tall enough to reach the fire extinguisher, so I have gone through with him how to use it, but have emphasised that putting out a fire is not his responsibility - getting his siblings and himself to safety is.

beeelaine Wed 04-Dec-13 15:35:02

we live in a bungalow but still i make sure we all know which windows would be easiest to get out of and where the keys for the all are just in case they are locked. we have a smoke alarm in both sides of the bungalow and everyone knows in our family about not leaving anything on unattended, over the years ive had kettles blow up, a faulty microwave set on fire and a telly start to smoke! im also paranoid about mice in the attic as i have heard of someones house burning down because they chewed through the wires! When i go out everything is unplugged. I do have candles but they are only put on the stone of the bottom of the fireplace (and i never used to light candles when i had our cat because i was always frigtened it would set his fur on fire). I also store all aerosols in low cupboards (which need to be locked if you have small children) this is because if there is a fire they can explode and make the situation far worse! I never dry clothes near the fire (when i was young my sister sindged her shorts doing that). The only thing i burn is confidential paperwork but i do that very carefully in a large metal tin and pop a bucket of water over it when its done. I think the worst things thesedays for setting fire are those chargers for tablets etc so none of them are on unless im there and also the tumble dryer but i always hang up overnight so they half dry already and i keep a beady eye on it!

jollytummywobbles Wed 04-Dec-13 16:32:42

We've taped keys to the top of the windows in the children's room so that the window can be opened in an emergency but not by the children on a day to day basis.

AnnaConda Wed 04-Dec-13 17:15:45

We've just bought a fire escape ladder to hang out of the window and fire extinguishers for every bedroom.

Smoke detectors, fire blanket in the kitchen, keys easily accessible to door and windows onto the flat roof. Have drilled dc about what do - ie vacate property without faffing about. If trapped for some reason (God forbid, but it could happen in a hotel for example) have talked about sealing off door with wet towels etc.

I do get a bit anxious about the Christmas tree lights being a fire hazard and tend to turn them off when we leave the living room for any length of time blush

KristinaM Wed 04-Dec-13 17:47:36

If the smoke detector in your kitchen goes off easily or frequently, get a heat detector instead.

If the fire alarm sounds when you are in a hotel room, always take your room key with you when you leave. If there is smoke In the corridor or stairs , or your exit is blocked, the safest place may be back in your room.

WowOoo Wed 04-Dec-13 18:22:19

When we had new windows put in upstairs we had ones that you can get out of easily.
I can't remember if it was new regulations or just advice from the window fitter.
We test our smoke alarms regularly. We had a close shave in the kitchen and even though I was there and dealt with the (almost) fire, it was very reassuring to know that they'd have alerted me to all the smoke.

I've been told that phone/iPad chargers can really overheat if just left in the socket not charging anything. I always take it out of the socket when not in use.

Apparently there a lot of fake ones that pose a real threat - so if you have a fake Apple charger, consider buying a genuine one.

MissRee Wed 04-Dec-13 18:49:46

I think I have the most un-fireproof flat in the world. We have one exit and our bedroom is off the kitchen!

We have a fire alarm (heat detecting, not smoke) in the kitchen but that's about it.

Really should get our arses in gear - at the moment we wouldn't stand a chance in a fire.

gazzalw Wed 04-Dec-13 19:15:09

It has always been a nightmare of mine to have to jump out of a bedroom window onto a conservatory roof ;-(. I am not sure that I have a fool-proof escape plan if we have a fire, but we do have two fire alarms in the house and one is along the stairs balustrade near the kitchen so it's going off all the time even when the kettle boils....(better safe than sorry I say).

We don't have a fire blanket or a powder fire extinguisher but I'm not sure we need them...(famous last words...)

Always very careful to unplug Christmas Trees at night-time or when we go out....Not sure we leave stuff charging when we're out or over-night...

nextphase Wed 04-Dec-13 20:12:05

DH was shock when I first moved in with him, and refused to be locked in the house at night.
Chain on door, yes, but never, never, never need to find a key to get out of the house (primary exit).
We test the alarms quite regularly by cooking....
Not talked to the kids really - they are 4 and 2, so guess the oldest is ready to understand. Not sure the younger one would get it? Any thoughts?

BertieBowtiesAreCool Wed 04-Dec-13 20:20:41

Yes, if you buy a non-official charger for anything make sure it's CE marked. That goes for batteries too. Unofficial chargers are fine but watch out for cheap ones which don't have this mark (it means they've been safety tested).

DinoSnores Wed 04-Dec-13 21:10:31

We test the smoke alarms weekly. We've decided which one of us is grabbing which child if there was a fire so that no-one is forgotten.

nemno Wed 04-Dec-13 21:21:01

I have a fire blanket in the kitchen and a fire extinguisher in the hall. Keys are kept near corresponding locks (but out of sight) and everyone knows where they are. Candles are never left unattended and appliances are not on overnight. Smoke alarms are plentiful but you've reminded me they need checking.

DoItTooBabyJesus Wed 04-Dec-13 21:28:36

Stay low. Really low.

I will be getting spare keys for the windows cut and put on a hook by the windows!

We keep a fire blanket and a small fire extinguisher in the kitchen. We shut all inside doors at night to help slow a spreading fire and I never leave the dryer running while we're in bed or out of the house

bluebump Wed 04-Dec-13 21:40:26

I have fire alarms on both floors which are checked regularly.

I have 1 lighter for lighting candles etc which is kept on a high shelf in a tin so that my DS can't reach it. I do have gas hobs which I check before bed.

I keep all my door keys in a basket by the front door and window keys are in the windows although my DS is almost about to be able to reach them so I need to reevaluate this. Maybe keep then in a drawer like the video suggested.

I turn all things like hair straighteners off when I'm done and also I pull the plugs out of the wall.

I am ultra paranoid about fire as during the summer the house behind me caught fire and as it had been so dry it took just 20 minutes for the whole house to be alight and the roof caving in, and for the house next door to catch alight too. Thankfully no one was home or hurt.

skyeskyeskye Wed 04-Dec-13 21:41:27

I switch everything off at the socket overnight apart from the Sky box.

I have got smoke alarms in every room and a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and in the porch.

If we were trapped in the bedroom side, then we would have to climb out of the bedroom window (bungalow) and I have told DD 5yo that if we ever have to do that in an emergency that she is to run over to the neighbours house and bang on their bedroom window until they wake up, as I would put her out of the window first then try and get myself out.

I also take my mobile to bed every night, so that I could ring 999 in an emergency if I couldn't get to the phone, or the electric had gone. Also keep a torch in the bedroom for the same reason.

mawbroon Wed 04-Dec-13 21:54:52

I was registered as a childminder, so we have 6 interconnected smoke alarms in our house (it's only a 2 bedroom!!).

They are wired in, and I know they work because the tiniest whiff of smoke in the kitchen sets off the one in the hall and the whole street knows I've burnt the toast LOL.

DS1 knows what to do in a fire and I have recently taught him how to light a candle with a match. My thinking behind this is that he will not be tempted to have a try when I'm not around.

happyamh Wed 04-Dec-13 22:00:14

Some advice I was given: don't build a bonfire under your stairs! It made me clear out all the plastics bags etc etc

snice Wed 04-Dec-13 22:00:20

keys always kept next to front door as am terrified of a fire at night and not being able to find them in dark/smoke

AttackOfTheKillerMonsterSnowGo Wed 04-Dec-13 22:27:42

We have a fire plan that both the children know about. Ds is possibly too small to get himself put but sleeps in with me so I am less worried about him than dd. we have a fire ladder in my bedroom, and an extinguisher in the kitchen. Both children have been taught that if they touch. Door handle and its hot then they don't open it.

We have a wood burner which is swept regularly without fail and I'm also carful to switch off and pull out plugs at hit as I know of two people whose house fires started with faulty equipment.

I had a phone charger recently with a plug which was getting hot when charging so we watch out for things like that and replace them as soon as we notice.

A house fire is one of my greatest fears with the kids in the house.

NotAFeminist Wed 04-Dec-13 22:37:58

I love these little helping hand videos! We don't check the smoke alarms monthly, but I do check them regularly enough when I set them off with my cooking!!! :/

We live in an upstairs flat so there aren't really many points of exit in the case of a fire which does sometimes worry me. My son is 13 months so we haven't talked fire safety with him just yet!! But we make sure candles are out of his reach. We switch off all the plugs at night. We're not smokers and have a gas fire that we only use at Christmas! Close doors when we're sleeping... I do keep meaning to get some fire safety equipment like a fire extinguisher/fire blanket etc which I WILL get round to!! And my husband and I have talked about jumping out of our bedroom window onto the roof of our garden sheds because that's do-able. If we jumped out the front window or my son's window, there is a ledge there also.

We keep our window keys on the window sill so the ones that are locked can easily be opened in a hurry.

30SecondsToVenus has made a good point that I'm going to start right away which is sleeping with a spare key with me at night in case we need to get out the front door quickly. So thanks for that! smile

bumbumsmummy Wed 04-Dec-13 23:34:41

Know where your keys are we have a plan and now in our new house we've got fire safety windows you can swing them open to get out

New fire n carbon alarm Nest protect they are amazing and worth the extra money

We are pretty good for checking all the alarms regularly.
We are in a town house though and Dd is on the top floor. That makes me a bit edgy although I know that really it's quite unavoidable. I'm growing some nice big hedges outside for emergency window jumps!

(Also because I needed a hedge to break up gardens! Two birds with one stone eh?)

FoofFighter Thu 05-Dec-13 01:55:42

We've just moved house so that would be my tip - remember to alter your escape plans and make sure everyone knows what to do when you move house

Notsurehowthathappened Thu 05-Dec-13 10:13:03

Having experienced a house fire as a child I am very fire aware.

Precautions include:

- Fire Alarms on both floors, regularly checked
- Escape plan. All overnight visitors told where the door & window keys are kept and how to get out of the house
- Window keys in the bedside drawers in each of my bedrooms and in the Living Room and Kitchen. Door keys on my bedside table and in a bowl close to front door
- Blanket & Extinquisher in Kitchen
- Excape ladder in bedroom
- All plugs (except for landline phone and fridge) out of socket when not being used. That includes Dishwasher, Washing machine, Tumble Dryer, Microwave and TV.
- No rugs near the open fire (wood floor)
- Double fire guard on the open fire at night
- No candles

I am sure that some people think I am over the top in relation to my fire precautions but I will never forget the terror of being in a house that is on fire. I was only a teenager, minding my younger brother and sister while my parents were out. I was upstairs doing my homework when my younger sister decided to cook chips. She then forgot the chip pan was on because she was so engrossed in Scooby Doo.

The fire spread rapidly travelling across the ceiling tiles and down onto Carpets & Furniture. The fumes were chocking and we were very, very, lucky to all get out alive !!

KristinaM Thu 05-Dec-13 11:07:06

Here is more information on fire safety in the home

http://www.fireservice.co.uk/safety

There is a leaflet available in many other languages, incase you want to print it off and give to friends and neighbours who could use it.

The fire and rescue service ( fire brigade ) will come to your home , at a time that suits you, and do a FREE Home Fire Risk Assessment.

They will advise on any aspect of fire safety within your home and help you devise an escape plan, if you do not already have one. Many Fire and Rescue Services will also fit, where required, free smoke detectors.

Babycarmen Thu 05-Dec-13 13:40:32

When I was 5 my house burnt down to the ground and it was the most terrifying experience of my life. So this is obviously a very important topic to me.
I think talking about fire risks with children is extremely important. My DD is 6 and knows what to do in an emergency.
Smoke alarms go without saying, they are a must! Its also important to have gas/electric systems checked regularly. Fire blanket in the kitchen and an extinguisher.
And turn sockets off at night and don't over kill them by putting 6 plugs on one socket!

tinypumpkin Thu 05-Dec-13 16:42:23

I have not said anything to the DC particularly as they are 4 and 2 years. I do need to get an extinguisher and also a fire blanket for the kitchen. I really appreciate the reminders actually.

We do have smoke alarms but I need to test those now I think. I really like the idea of new batteries on news year's day. Thanks to the poster how mentioned this.

I do worry about fire as children downstairs and we are upstairs.

tinypumpkin Thu 05-Dec-13 16:42:54

Meant to say agree about the chargers not being plugged in when not being used. I am paranoid about that too.

daisydaisy11 Thu 05-Dec-13 17:33:32

Not sure about other parts of the country but here in Scotland we can request a free fire safety check and this is one of the first things we did when we moved in. The people who did the check installed a couple of fire alarms which was great and also talked us through a questionnaire. We have a gas fire and a wood burning stove so a carbon monoxide monitor was also a must have. Other than that we dont use a chip pan and remember to unplug hair dryers/straighteners when done with.

hotair Thu 05-Dec-13 17:42:07

Smoke alarm on every floor, regularly tested. I do a fire drill with my toddlers and dh once every couple of weeks and talk quite often about the best things to do in a fire, as well as role playing it.
I would never leave a candle unattended and my dh is very good about making sure that chargers are off overnight. I also try to only use the tumble dryer in the daytime. I leave a key in the lock at night so it is always there and no need to find it if I need to get out.

TallGiraffe Thu 05-Dec-13 17:56:33

We know someone whose house burned down because of a glass ornament on the windowsill - the sunlight was magnified by it and the fire started. No glass or mirrors on windowsills in our house.

michelleblane Thu 05-Dec-13 19:24:36

We have three smoke alarms and my husband checks them once a month. We have one open fire (dining room) which is lit a couple of times over Christmas and monitored carefully. We also have a woodburner which is on daily over winter. We are careful when opening the door for sparks, and vaccuuming ash (incase it is still warm!). I am a fan of candles but again they are always under adult supervision. The children have known from an early age not to touch lighters and matches, and these are kept out of reach. Our doors are locked with bolts at night, not keys. (It is an old farmhouse.) The children are all aware of safety procedures in the case of fire.

NotAFeminist Thu 05-Dec-13 23:08:31

TallGiraffe just reminded me that when we had our mandatory fire safety talk when we moved in, we were warned of the dangers of keeping cans in windowsills so they came down immediately and we don't have anything glassy on the windowsills, either!

Letitsnow9 Fri 06-Dec-13 01:08:19

Know your escape route and don't keep windows locked

LoganMummy Fri 06-Dec-13 11:47:07

We spent a good part of last night out on the street as our neighbours house went on fire. They've lost everything, thankfully they all got out and we're ok and back in.

I've been in tears as I can't believe they have lost everything. Thankfully they had a plan of what to do in an emergency. They are devastated, the poor cat didn't make it out.

We have rechecked our escape plan, spare keys and smoke alarms.

HannahLI Fri 06-Dec-13 12:14:52

The video made me think that I should do more - I don't think I have ever checked my smoke detector works! We don't have a fire blanket but its something that we have been talking about. One thing we do do is we won't light any candles until the children are in bed and then we usually put it on the tiled window sill so its out of the way and can't be accidently caught or knocked. Sometimes we also put it in a glass jar too as it looks pretty but is also safer. At night time we shut doors everywhere so that if something does happen overnight its more contained.

serendipity1980 Fri 06-Dec-13 14:24:28

We don't have a fire safety plan but the video has got me thinking. We were told by a local security improvement man that we should keep all doors shut downstairs to reduce the speed a fire spreads (if we were to have one). We do have an open fire and use candles but I keep them out of reach and the DC are old enough to know they are not to be played with. We do keep our keys in a box near the front door so we can get out quickly. Fire alarms are tested on a regular basis with my cooking!!!

Happiestinwellybobs Fri 06-Dec-13 17:24:03

We check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly and have a fire escape plan.

I never leave dishwasher or tumble dryer on if I'm going out.

SpicedTeaAndXmasCakeOrDeath Fri 06-Dec-13 18:26:10

Fire is one of the things that really scares me now I'm parent, especially as DSs are still only so little (nearly 3 and 6 months) so there would be no way they'd get out without us helping.
We don't have any gas appliances, only electric so that helps cut the risk somewhat and we don't really light candles (birthdays only!)

We did have the local fire brigade round though to do a 'fire plan', they fitted a new 10 year smoke detector, highlighted escape routes and possible fire 'start points' (the tv corner with like 10 different plugs plugged in) and so we unplug those at night and close all doors as we go to bed

kateandme Fri 06-Dec-13 18:58:39

we taught them what to do.not in a making a big thing of it way.just one day we were sitting together and we brought up what would happen.we discussed the best route.the best method for smashing glass.touhcing doornobs etc.covering the mouth.keeping calm.sounding the alarm.not to try and get toys etc.
allthought young ones still said they want to come to brothers and sisters and parents rather than get out the window!!

JollySparklyGiant Fri 06-Dec-13 19:15:11

We don't use candles. I can't deal with the idea of both a toddler and a flame in the same room. We got four of those wee fake ones for £1 and they're brill!

OrnamentalAsAnything Fri 06-Dec-13 19:18:16

Ds is only just three so too young to really be briefed on a fire exit strategy - we'd just grab him and run. We do have an exit plan out the window on the upper level if the stairs are blocked, but it wouldn't be an ideal way out. But better than being burnt or smoked out.
Smoke alarms, essential, really. We check ours keenly.
Front door key is hung by the front door, though really, I'd just get out, with my child, and run.

Logan, how awful! but yes, at least they escaped.

Bubbles85 Fri 06-Dec-13 19:48:22

We have working smoke detectors that we check once a week. We also make sure everyone staying in the house knows where the keys are in case they need to get out quickly. We also have a small emergency fire extinguisher in the kitchen.

mrscog Fri 06-Dec-13 20:58:14

What do you think of the tips given in the video?

I think the tips in the video are great - low maintenace/cheap and easy but would be extremely important in the event of a fire.

Do you use any of these in your home already? Some - we have a vague fire plan (limited in a 2 bed terraced house), we don't check smoke alarms but they do go off weekly due to burnt toast.

Have you spoken to your DCs about fire safety in your home? No - Ds only just knows what a car is but as soon as he's old enough to understand I will.

What do you do in the way of fire safety? We know where our keys are, we have an escape plan, we don't smoke, don't leave candles unattended, turn off as much as possible, live in a new house with modern wiring.

Do you have a fire blanket in your kitchen in case of emergencies? No

Or maybe you just make sure that you keep any candles out of reach of small children? Obviously yes!

lagoonhaze Fri 06-Dec-13 21:29:58

Get the home safety check from your local station.

M0naLisa Fri 06-Dec-13 22:16:41

We have an escape plan, 2 in fact. This was nearly put into action when our fire alarms went off one early morning. Luckily they were faulty which were changed that day by the council. I unplug everything at night and make see everything is safe.

Tortoise Fri 06-Dec-13 22:59:27

I have a vague plan in my head that older DS's are aware of. Smoke alarms are tested yearly, should really do them more often.
I never use candles, they scare me!
DD2 9 has a fear of fire so the subject isn't mentioned often because she ends up too scared to go to bed.

One worry is that the upstairs window locks are impossible to open, I'm going to mention that to my housing association I think.

livingzuid Sat 07-Dec-13 08:43:38

We live in a small flat on the second floor. We have a fire blanket and small extinguisher all with smoke alarm. DH and I have worked out how to get the dog and the baby out of the flat effectively should the exit be blocked as we only have 1 way in and out.

Snog Sat 07-Dec-13 10:27:51

We have an escape ladder to fling out of the window on the top floor (4 storey building) next to my dd's bed and keep mobiles upstairs at night.

PenguinSalute Sat 07-Dec-13 13:04:41

My DS is only 1 so a bit young to be aware of a fire escape plan but I will make sure we discuss it and practice when he is bigger. I've always been keen with my nieces and nephews to explain about 999 and will carry this on with DS. We have front and back door keys easily accessible by the doors, and a small extinguisher in the kitchen- no fire blanket though, so this thread may have inspired a purchase...

MadMonkeys Sat 07-Dec-13 19:32:47

We have a fire extinguisher and blanket in the kitchen, window keys in each room and fire alarms upstairs and downstairs. We unplug anything not in use and take care not to overload sockets.

IncaAztec Sat 07-Dec-13 22:46:09

We check our smoke alarms each month and recently installed an extra one. We also have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen - no fire blanket though, maybe we could look at getting one.

My DD's are a bit young but they do discuss fire safety at pre school and have drills so we will extend this to our house.

We don't use candles whatsoever, just seem too risky with such young children around.

PavlovtheCat Sun 08-Dec-13 12:02:04

We also have a fire route which the children, DH and I are aware of. We don't bang on about it, just make sure that from time to time we remind ourselves as they grow older.

We live in a flat, with a flat underneath us and our fire alarm is linked to the communal hallway so that they become aware of it if there is a fire in our flat. We have integrated fire alarm. It gets tested whenever we burn the toast grin

We also know where our keys are, all the windows are locked but have the keys in them so we can open them if needed, quickly. All our doors are fire doors, but we don't shut them all at night as they are too heavy for my son to open to get out/go to the toilet. The one to the kitchen is shut though as that is the most likely place that a fire will occur (according to our builder)

I do have candles on, as I love them. But, never in the bedrooms. They get blown out when I am on my third glass of wine (rarely!) and if I feel tired, so we don't fall asleep with them on. The children know never ever to touch them, or touch lighters/matches etc and they are never within reach of the children, or close to the blinds, paperwork etc. They have their own 'home' in the front room without nothing else near them. My sister used to put candles on her Christmas tree!!! How scary is that?!

DH smokes, never indoors and keeps his lighters away from the children.

No fire blanket but probably should really. Thanks for reminding me!

sealight123 Sun 08-Dec-13 21:54:18

What do you think of the tips given in the video?
Although they are trying to be informative, they just seemed like common sense to me really. My stepdad is a firefighter though lol

Do you use any of these in your home already?
We have our spare keys hung in the kitchen and they will only ever come down in an emergency. We check our smoke alarms on a regular basis too. We don't have a meeting point though...purely as it is just me, my partner and my 2 year old daughter.

Have you spoken to your DCs about fire safety in your home?
She is still quite young so does not fully understand but we have explained the dangers of fire and lighters and matches. She knows not to touch as it is hot and will hurt. We have also told her about safety near fireworks and that she can only see these things when with a grown up and to never never touch. I think when she gets older, we will go into more depth and, no doubt, my stepdad will bring her for a talk with the fire brigade, like he did with me as a child smile

What do you do in the way of fire safety?
We keep all candles, lighters and matches out of reach. We ensure that all lights are turned off and essentially if something isn't being used, don't have it plugged in, especially air fresheners!
Never leave candles lit unattended and same with food on the stove. Always cook on the back burners to avoid the risk of it tipping on the floor and burning anyone. There is a list as long as my arms for safety tips lol

Do you have a fire blanket in your kitchen in case of emergencies?
This one we don't have. My partner does have a fire extinguisher, as he is a heating engineer for a living but...we may have to invest in the fire blanket as a precaution!!!

I place the door key at the bottom of the stairs (out of sight of the letter box). It's always left in the same place. I keep the window keys in the windows and they all open wide. DD's window has a safety catch but I've checked I can unclip it so the window opens fully if necessary.

Sounds a bit weird but I don't like having electrical items running while we're asleep. Even if I use the tumble dryer or washer on timer, I set it to start at the time our alarm wakes us up. Same for the heating. It means it might be a bit less warm but there's less risk of a fire going unnoticed if we're awake. Our heating system is quite old so I'm quite cautious about it.

SaltySeaBird Mon 09-Dec-13 07:40:20

The video was very short (is it intended to be an advert?) and the cheery tune didn't really match the seriousness of the topic. That said, short is good and people are more likely to watch it. The tips were common sense but probably not the most useful (other than the spare key one).

My DD is too young to be aware but as she gets older I will stress the importance of fire safety.

We have a mains wired smoke alarm / heat detector at the bottom of the stairs which is the most sensitive thing in the world. No need to test it, it goes off at least once every 48 hours! We also have battery operated smoke alarms on the upstairs landing and in every bedroom. They were on offer and DH went overboard!

I think educating DD on the causes of fire is important. So not leaving electrical appliances on, being careful not to get wires pinched / trapped and obviously no candles or naked flames.

We have an emergency key for the back door taped to the back a bit of furniture that stands next to it - easily reached and pulled off. We found a spare key in a drawer got taken out, used and wasn't put back in the right place.

We do need to get a fire blanket for the kitchen.

manfalou Mon 09-Dec-13 11:02:03

Our little ones are only 3 and 7 months so we havnt had a proper fire chat and we don't really have a proper fire escape plan but it is something me and DF chat about... We have a fire alarm which is checked regularly but no fire blanket or extinguisher, the extinguisher is something we have talked about getting but just havnt got around to it yet. I wasn't really aware that fire blankets were readily available so this is something id be interested in getting.

We don't use candles apart from the outdoor ones that keep flies away during summer which we put up high and generally use when the kids have gone to bed. The only fire we have is the gas stove which is always turned off as soon as we finish using it. Everything is turned off overnight but I do charge my phone overnight, it is left at the side of my bed.

manfalou Mon 09-Dec-13 11:02:28

we also have a carbon monoxide detector!

I make sure there is nothing on the stairs or by the doors before going to bed so we could get out quickly and safely in the dark.

Geniene Mon 09-Dec-13 15:03:04

Apart from having smoke alarms and being safe in the home, turning things off and not over loading sockets, that's about it for us. Although reading some of the above comments I now think it would be a good idea to have a chat to my little ones and go over 'evacuation' should there be a fire. So they know how to safely leave the house. Not to frighten them but just make the more aware.

Lotty8 Mon 09-Dec-13 15:39:19

When we were applying to be foster carers we had to have drawn fire escape routes so it really made us think about what we'd do if fire was in various locations (ie having multiple options)

We have a little and really easy to use fire extinguisher that we keep in the kitchen but want to get another one to go near the stove in the lounge. They're good cos they just look like a silver bottle instead of the rather ugly red ones you get.

Also, keys are always near enough doors/windows to be easily accessible and in specific bowls or jars etc

We have an escape route agreed, and we try to make sure that all the exits are clear, i.e. any large toys, shoes or assorted crap is put away in the evenings rather than left lying around. We have two smoke alarms which I regularly test, however DH is always taking them down because his vile paleo cooking produces huge amounts of smoke and there's no door to the kitchen.
Although our front door double locks from the inside I don't tend to use it as I don't fancy fumbling about in the smoke and darkness for the key.

janeyh31 Mon 09-Dec-13 20:38:43

We have a fire alarm and we have talked to our girls about what it means when it goes off and in the event of a fire they make sure they leave the house straight away and they know calling 999 for the emergency services. We always keep doors shut when we are not there & I keep keys etc somewhere they are accessible quickly.

Turnipvontrapp Mon 09-Dec-13 22:31:00

We have smoke alarms, I need to test them tomorrow now. I don't leave appliances switched on. Leave keys on the stairs in case we need to escape quick.

LegoCaltrops Tue 10-Dec-13 00:02:38

We test the smoke alarms regularly daily while using the grill So we know they work. Would never remove the battery like the previous tenants did.

We try to keep internal doors closed as much as possible. Also, turn all appliances off / unplug when not in use.

Never coil up electrical wires that are in use - eg don't use a cable tie etc to 'tidy them up' . The heat generated can't escape as easily & can lead to damage to the cable over the long term.

I did a fire safety course several years ago, part of which was looking at causes of domestic fires. Electrical fires, particularly overloaded sockets were quite shocking, & the fire station had some examples of extension leads that had been overloaded & had very obvious signs of heat damage. I still make sure we don't overload the plugs, DH thinks I'm crazy but I know it's sensible to be careful.

Test door handles with the back of your hand if you think there may be a fire. If there is a fire, live electric cables can fall from the ceiling. If it touches the metal handle & you go to take hold of the handle as normal, you will automatically grab the handle. (Due to the electric current!) If you use the back of your hand, you can't accidentally grab the handle.

We each keep our house keys near the doors - my set in a bag near front door, DH's set on the counter by the back door.

Cherryjellybean Tue 10-Dec-13 09:22:26

What do you think of the tips given in the video? Do you use any of these in your home already? Have you spoken to your DCs about fire safety in your home? What do you do in the way of fire safety? Do you have a fire blanket in your kitchen in case of emergencies? Or maybe you just make sure that you keep any candles out of reach of small children? Whatever it is to improve fire safety in your home we’d love to hear about it.

The video is good...we check smoke alarms, we keep the back door key hung up at the back door, so we don't have a spare one. Dd is too young to understand fire safety yet.
We had the firemen come to our home which was fab, and they fitted smoke alarms and checked for any risks, and they were happy with our home. Our risk at this time of year is candles, we only normally light one at a time, but its still a risk.

cheshirekat1 Tue 10-Dec-13 09:51:05

What do you think of the tips given in the video?

Good tips but would also be keen to reiterate the importance of security too as to where the spare front key can be reached (ie out of reach from outside via letterbox). Also have a back door key always kept in same place. Also the meeting point - depending on where fire is could be confusing for children? It's also served as a reminder to get a blanket or extinguisher for kitchen.

More tips? Another one we have is to have window keys within reach, either underneath a trinket on the ledge or with a key ring on it hooked onto the tie back hook at the side.

Candles are another thing- always on candle plates, away from fabrics, paper/cards, drafts, baby, cat, etc.

Hair straighteners- always switch off, unplug and leave on heat proof mat, another idea is to have on a timer for those stomach churning moments of 'have I left them on?' Hair dryer- always run it through on cold after drying hair to cool elements and plastic and never lie it hot on the carpet

Iron- got a metal wall holder that can put it on straight after use so I don't worry that it is plugged in and hot.
Discussion?
I'm due with baby in 2 wks but definitely plan to discuss safety in home when they can understand!

cheshirekat1 Tue 10-Dec-13 09:55:00

Back door key not in same place as front door key!

CaramelisedOnion Tue 10-Dec-13 18:11:01

'don't really use candles much and on the rare occasions I do I am meticulously careful about extinguishing them...I tend to use an electronic wax burner as opposed to traditional scented candles. I unplug everything in the house before bed and when leaving the house, and have an electric hob. I don't cook with a chip pan as my father told me a horrible story about setting fire to his mum abd dad's kitchen when he was 18 so that put me off! I have a smoke alarm fitted by the local fire brigade and check it regularly. I have not spoken to my son about fire hazards yet as he is only 2 so a bit young to understand. I do not have a fire blanket or extinguisher....I guess I am going for "prevention rather than cure" I leave the front door key and the back door key close to the doors at night time also.I don

DoctorGilbertson Tue 10-Dec-13 20:17:20

We try to only run appliances when we are in and awake.

Lh8609 Wed 11-Dec-13 13:18:39

I have a smoke alarm on both the landing and in the hallway downstairs both hooked up to the mains so there's never a chance of the battery failing and they're linked together to go off at the same time regardless of which one actually detects the smoke. They also detect heat as well as smoke and even go off sometimes just from cooking vapours and steam! A pain in the bum but at least I know they will detect the first sign of a fire.

momb Wed 11-Dec-13 15:30:48

We have mains fire alarms with back up batteries which are changed annually.
Our children know what to do if there is a fire.
We do have candles for birthdays. I always have a cup of water handy for these 2 minutes!

rachel19784 Wed 11-Dec-13 20:24:25

We have had the Fire brigade in checking our smoke alarms and giving great Fire advice. I was shocked by the sort of things that can start a fire and are more risky for example extension wires and plugs over candles. I do have candles lit but have them in safe areas and in glass dishes. Every night I go round unplugging everything, I think this is because my dad always did it as I was growing up and now I do what I saw as a child! I always leave keys for each door hanging up where the kids know and can be accessed incase we need to leave in an emergency. I close the downstairs doors each night as the Fire brigade told us this gives us extra time in the event of a fire. We always have a telephone upstairs and no toys, laptops, phones ect are left on charge.
I have a small Fire Extinguisher in the kitchen in event of my terrible cooking setting on fire...it has happened.
The kids have had plenty of Fire safety talks at school, it does worry me with teenagers when they have there music on full blast in there headphones, would they hear the fire alarm going off? I also have a carbon monoxide alarm.

HootyMcOwlface Thu 12-Dec-13 07:34:58

My dad always said to us whenever we moved to a new house that we should plan our fire escape route and talked us through it, like if a certain area was blocked. That has stayed with me and I do the same each time we move.
I learnt a lot about fire safety at school and at work and I've dealt with small fires at home.
We're not great at checking smoke alarms but I'll do ours today! Also not really fire safety but we did buy a carbon dioxide detector to keep in our kitchen near the boiler as that's very important too.

TinselandGretel Thu 12-Dec-13 22:00:02

We are very vigilant on fire safety.

we have a fire blanket and extinguisher in the kitchen
we have another extinguisher upstairs
we have smoke detectors in the cellar, ground floor, stairs, upstairs and attic (ground/upstairs are mains wired)
we have a window upstairs which opens fully so you can climb out and we have a special collapsing fire ladder hidden under the bed in that room so that we have a safe exit from upstairs should the stairwell be blocked.

We had the local fire brigade come and assess the new house when we moved, and we keep spare batteries in the change the batteries in the alarms as soon as they start to bleep, we also test regularly.

Since we had DC we don't have candles in the house. I don't use those plug in air fresheners, they have some bad reviews for catching fire. I also try to never leave unnecessary appliances on overnight to reduce the risk.

TinselandGretel Thu 12-Dec-13 22:15:22

Plus, both front and back door have a dedicated key on a hook just above the door (out of sight from outside house) so that there is always a key on hand to be able to get out if necessary.

AndHarry Thu 12-Dec-13 22:24:11

We don't do any of those blush but we do have smoke alarms and keep our keys nearby overnight. I've discussed with my 3yo what to do in a fire: shout and get out or if he can't get out, go into a room without a fire and stay where you are. The thing that worries me the most is him thinking he's done something naughty and not saying anything or trying to hide from the fire so I hope that by teaching him the above points over and over, he will know what to do should he ever discover a fire. My other top tip is to keep exits clear; our hall gets really cluttered with bags and shoes but I make sure to tidy it every night before going to bed so we have a clear route to the front door.

Jinty64 Fri 13-Dec-13 10:09:23

We arranged for a fire officer to visit the house. He fitted a third smoke alarm which we check regularly. I switch everything off at night. I used to put the washing machine on before I went to bed but don't do that anymore. I shut all the internal doors at night or if I am out.

We leave a key in the doors all the time and the children all know what to do.

lorka Fri 13-Dec-13 12:02:57

We recently had a bit of a scare with a light nearly going on fire so we have replaced all our fire alarms in the house as they were quite old and made sure every one has a back up battery that works.
We have talked to our children re fire safety and they have also had talks and visits to the fire station at school/cubs etc.

daisyjoy Fri 13-Dec-13 14:11:18

When we redid our kitchen we got the electricians to put in a heat detector rather than a smoke detector. It's wired into the mains so can't run out of batteries and won't go off if DH burns the toast, but will if there's a fire creating heat. I love it as it doesn't go off unnecessarily but gives me peace of mind smile

lionheart Fri 13-Dec-13 22:25:42

Smoke alarms (which are tested every Sunday when I set them off while cooking a roast). We close all of the doors at night, take keys plus mobile to bed. Fire safety officer suggested these things. A closed door can keep the fire at bay for 15-20 minutes. Landlines do not always work in a fire.

Theimpossiblegirl Fri 13-Dec-13 23:07:48

Reading through this I realise that apart from smoke alarms and turning stuff off, I am not very up on fire safety. Thanks for the heads up, I will be addressing this tomorrow and not putting the washing machine on when I go to bed like I usually do!

Letitsnow9 Fri 13-Dec-13 23:14:19

We have alarms, 2 different escape routes (one upstairs, one down), fire extinguisher and alarms. We are also careful not to leave things on and unattended ie Christmas tree lights. You can never be too careful or too safe.
Important not to forget carbon monoxide alarms too (saved my life but few people seem to have them compared to fire alarms)

IJustWoreMyTrenchcoat Fri 13-Dec-13 23:33:42

This is quite relevant for me at the moment as we are moving into a house with an open fire and a multi fuel burner. We have a newborn and I am worried already about the safety aspect.

I am too relaxed about things like charging tablets overnight and candles, some of these posts are making me think again.

ataraxia Sun 15-Dec-13 11:13:19

Don't do much in the home to be honest - this reminds me to check the smoke alarm.
Video - good idea about the key for doors that are keylocked on the inside.

MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 16-Dec-13 11:46:47

Thank you everyone for your comments. Congratulations to BobaFetaCheese who won the prize draw! We'll be in touch shortly.

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