Ainu stressing about new house and feel we don't take fire safety seriously enough in this country(20 Posts)
We're moving to a lovely 4 bed detached house from our bungalow. I love our bungalow, one of the reasons is I feel it is safe, I'm always close to the children and could get to them and get them out if there was a fire. I am trying to find out what I can do to ensure safety in the new house beyond that of alarms and extinguishes and ways I can get my children out a two storey house. When I ask anyone about this people think I'm mad, but I genuinely want to look at options of escape if stairs were blocked, ladder attached to wall etc. Aibu to think this is a genuine concern and to think there must be some solution?
And yes to avoid being accused of dripping I was trapped in a barn fire as a child which makes me more aware... Someone got me out but otherwise I had no escape as entrance was blocked and I was to small to get out of window.
Obviously your experience has made you super worried about this, understandably, but you are being way over the top. Good functional smoke alarms in the right places is all you really need, as well as generally being conscientious about candles and the like.
Is it an old property or new? We're in a new build and upstairs one window in each room is a special one that opens wide enough to use as an escape. There is also a bay window at the front, the roof of which is designed to weight bear as an escape route. If it's an old property you're moving to, you could consider putting in a bay window as an escape route? Otherwise, I believe you can get collapsible metal ladders that hook onto the window ledge then you let them roll down the outside of the house as an escape route. You don't want a permanent fixed ladder on the outside as that will affect the security of your property.
We live in an old house and went through it systematically working out fire escape routes etc. We have 10 smoke detectors in the house, a fire blanket and extinguisher in the kitchen. There is a set of keys by every door, with the key for that particular door marked with tape, so you know which one it is in the dark. The children were always told what to do in event of a fire.
I don't think you can ever take fire too seriously.
If you ever need to escape from an upstairs window, climb out and hang from the window ledge before jumping, as this makes it 5 feet or so less to jump.
I'm sure you can find online stuff about how to make your house as fireproof as possible.
The fire service can come round and go though escape plans etc with you. Perhaps it would make you feel safer? I think teaching the kids what to do in a fire is very important and often overlooked as well.
It's about 50 years old, thank you Arizona good advice. I do recognise that I'm over protective about it and prevention is most important oysterbabe but do feel I need something if prevention doesn't work!!
Massively over thought. But you can get the fire derive round and will do an escape plan for you.
House fires are so rare now a days. As long as you have smoke alarms and know your escape routes wouldn't bother with fire extinguishers
Our 1930s semi has an escape route from each room we live/sleep in and as we have a loft conversion fire doors throughout and wired in smoke alarm on each floor.
Teach the kids cpr and how to dial 999 at the same time as escape routes.
There are escape ladders like this available
We worked out escape routes with the kids years ago, they also did it as part of a school project
Thanks rat speaker, Dh and I were looking at these earlier. He reckoned we wouldn't safely get children out with the harnesses you get but he thought the presence of them would make me feel better.
OP the fire brigade will come and go round the house with you- at least they used to a few years ago
Do you have a fire escape plan that you practise with the children? We talked our kids through what to do if the detectors went off especially at night time.
We had a house fire as kids and our best friend was the smoke detectors, they alerted us to the problem long before the fire took hold. As a result of my experience as a child we have detectors in every room, each floor has a hard wired alarm in at least one area (mainly the hallways/landings) and every living room (dining room, bedroom etc) has a battery operated alarm, the batteries get changed every year on a set date, Christmas Eve in our house.
I understand where you're coming from. I lost a loved one in a fire so I am very aware of fire safety but have to remind myself not to exaggerate the risk in my head because of that experience. I do think that teaching kids what to do in the event of a fire and discussing escape routes is sensible, as long as it's done in a calm and reassuring way. I agree with previous posters that asking someone from the fire service to come and advise is probably the best solution. We have fire extinguishers, fire blankets and one of those fire ladders that you can use to escape from the second storey window. I comes sort of rolled up and you just open it and let it drop down. I think we got it from Amazon.
Fire detectors, interlinked for extra safety. If you're prepared to do a little work then fire doors (30 mins or 1hr). Extinguishers are not recommended any more, unless training is provided and you're prepared to ensure that they're changed regularly - plus you need appropriate extinguishers for the sort of fire it is.
For a domestic household I'd probably get a heat detecting alarm in the kitchen, interlinked with smoke detectors in the hallway on every level. Compartmentalisation
check the windows for a fire window - a bigger one that opens more (ours is in our large bathroom) get some sort of ladder for it either a rolling one or a rope one - rolling ones are easier for kids to use. Try not to scare the pants off the kids with training. make sure you have smoke detectors and they work, get the electrics checked out properly, make sure everything is unplugged at night, don't store inflammable stuff under the stairs, don't dry clothes on electric heaters or storage heaters, make sure there are window keys near the windows if you lock them (most insurance requires it) I use bluetack in a little place out of sight but well known to everyone, especially for the fire escape window.
Secure any fires in the house at night, make sure they are swept every 6 mths (chimneys) have firedoors on all door ways, make sure the loft of the house has firebreak walls if a semi or attached to a garage etc. If garage attached to house don't store more flammable stuff than necessary and store of far outside walls not next to living quarters
If you have kids, think about having luminous stickers or paint as wall guides to fire escape - at skirting level
Educate kids about fire hazards especially hairdryers/hair curling implements etc
Has the new house got any porches or conservatories? We used to have wide-opening fire windows above ours (one over the porch at the front and one at the back over the conservatory). Not as far to fall!
oh have extra sockets installed rather than using extension leads especially cheap ones
I had a fire officer round my house to go through fire safety. (They were offering this). I asked about safety ladders but he was adamant that prevention was the focus. He said most fires were caused by faults in tv's or computers and said the most important thing you can do is switch off all your appliances at the wall every night. He said make it a routine to do this last thing at night.
The fire brigade will definitely come out and check the house - they've done it for us a couple of times
me, paranoid? Never
Also second the ladders, we have a few . We have 2-storey and 3-storey ones. How old are the DC? 6yo can easily manage it alone, I can go down a ladder one-handed carrying my 3yo, who will cling to me which helps though he can manage it alone under non-stressful conditions - yes, I've tried it...and yes, we've had fire drill here too. Though when we actually had a real fire the DC were at school and nursery, it was the new fuse box, the house had been rewired.
Funnily enough, I'm afraid of bungalows... Worried about burglars breaking in through a DC's bedroom window... I feel safer knowing the alarms would go off well before intruders got up the stairs to the DC!
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