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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,


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!!!

PurpleCrazyHorse Sun 08-Dec-13 22:13:31

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!

OrangeBlossom2 Mon 09-Dec-13 11:05:00

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

mrsgordonfreeman Mon 09-Dec-13 19:59:15

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.
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 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.

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