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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,


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!

worldgonecrazy Tue 03-Dec-13 10:18:01

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.

2gorgeousboys Tue 03-Dec-13 13:58:02

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.

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