Follow these simple, inexpensive tips to prevent fires in your home. You can also get free advice from your local fire and rescue service. This can help you and others to get out quickly and safely if a fire does break out.

Fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly

  • fit smoke alarms on each level of your home – it’s the simplest step you can take to cut the risk of dying as a result of a fire in your home
  • test the batteries in your smoke alarm every week and change them every year – never remove them apart from when replacing them

Take care when cooking

  • more than half of accidental fires in the home start because of something to do with cooking
  • take extra care when cooking with hot oil and don’t leave children alone in the kitchen when the hob or oven is on

Plan an escape route and make a bedtime check

  • plan a route to escape your home if there is a fire and make sure everyone in the house knows the plan
  • if there’s a fire, don’t tackle it yourself – get out, stay out and call 999
  • check for fire hazards in your home before you go to bed – it takes longer to become aware of a fire when asleep
  • see ‘Planning a safe escape’ for more information about bedtime checks and making an escape plan

Don’t overload sockets

  • try to keep to one plug per socket – too many electrical appliances plugged into one socket can overload it, which can lead to overheating
  • electrical appliances, plugs and cables that are old or poorly wired can also be a real danger

Cigarettes – put them out, right out

  • more people die in fires caused by smoking products than in fires caused by anything else
  • always stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully
  • see ‘Smoking safety’ for tips to avoid causing a fire if you smoke

Use candles carefully

  • candles, decorative lights and decorations are a growing cause of fires
  • make sure candles are secured in a stable holder and kept away from curtains, fabrics and paper
  • always put candles out when you are leaving the room or going to bed

Home visits from your local fire and rescue service

  • some fire and rescue services offer a free home fire safety visit to people living in their area
  • they will inspect your home to help you spot any potential fire hazards and show you what to do to reduce or prevent the risk of fire
  • they can also help you to develop an escape plan for your property