Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is encouraging residents to reduce the risk of having a fire in the home this Home Fire Safety Week (26 September – 2 October).
Nationally there were 15,906 accidental fires from household appliances such as; cookers, washing machines and dishwashers between 2014 and 2015. We are encouraging people not to use appliances when the home is empty or when they’ve gone to bed, unless they are designed to continuously run (i.e. fridge or freezer).
All appliances carry a risk of causing fires, but registering products is one way of reducing your chances of using a faulty appliance. This can ensure that if there is a safety recall you can be contacted and a qualified engineer can visit to perform a repair.
Follow these simple tips to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe from a fire in the home:
- Fit working smoke alarms to each level of your home and test the batteries every week.
- Plan an emergency escape route, and practise it with everyone you live with.
- Switch off appliances at the plug where possible before you go to bed.
- Don’t leave appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines running over night or when the house is empty.
- If you have a recalled appliance – don’t risk it – stop using it.
- Poor installation (can be as simple as a heavy appliance sitting on a power lead) and poor maintenance (can be as simple as not defrosting a freezer) can increase the risk of an incident.
- Good housekeeping can prolong the life of an appliance and reduce the risk of fire (examples can be as simple as not cleaning an oven or filters).
- Check with older relatives, friends and neighbours as they may need help identifying issues with appliances and protecting themselves from the risks of an incident occurring.
- In the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.
Pete Farmer, Station Manager for Prevention, said: “It is essential to know what to do if the worst happens and a fire does start. We strongly advise people to fit working smoke alarms to each level of their homes and test the batteries every week, this can give early warning and save lives.
“Along with having working smoke alarms, making an emergency escape plan is the best way of giving yourself and your family the greatest chance of leaving the house safely. It only takes a few minutes to make an escape plan but it could save your life should the worst happen.
“Just by following these simple steps, you can reduce the risk of having a fire in the home and help to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.”
Notes to editors
Register my Appliance (www.registermyappliance.org.uk), is the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances’ online safety initiative supported by the Government and local fire services. It allows the public to register old (up to 12 years old) and new appliances. To register, the consumer will need a serial number which is found on the appliance data plates.