Winter is a time when we can look forward to luxuries such as lazing beside a roaring open fire or lighting a few candles to set the mood, but both these things can pose as serious fire hazards. With Halloween also approaching us, fireworks will be used, lanterns will be lit and decorations will be hanging, so it's important to keep your home fire-safe.
To ensure you are prepared, follow our AA Home Insurance
tips to help reduce the risk of a fire spreading in your home this winter.
In this day and age having an audible smoke alarm installed in your home is a must – there are no excuses. They are affordable, easy to install and can save lives.
- Check them on a weekly basis to ensure they are in full working order.
- Excluding garages and bathrooms, you should have an alarm fitted in every room in your home.
- Replace smoke alarms at least every 10 years.
- Have your chimney and flue cleaned at least once a year.
- Never have an open fire blazing too high.
- Always use a fire safety guard on open and radiant fires.
- Don’t dry clothes on fire safety guards or storage heaters.
- Never, ever cover convector or storage heaters.
- Ageing electrical systems/wiring must be checked out by a qualified electrician.
- Beware laptops & other electronic devices! Batteries on them can overheat while charging so make sure that ventilation holes are not blocked. A laptop that is plugged in and resting on your duvet is a serious fire hazard if you fall asleep.
- Avoid using plug adaptors. Only use approved plug-boards and ensure all plugs have the correct fuse fitted. Before going to bed each night or if you are spending time away from home, we would strongly advise that you unplug all electrical appliances.
- During Halloween and Christmas be careful with tree or other decorative lights, check them for wear and tear and don’t forget to unplug them every night.
Before going to bed each night
- Develop a routine of switching off all electrical appliances.
- Empty all ashtrays.
- Switch off all gas appliances.
- Ensure all cigarettes, candles and naked flames are extinguished correctly.
- After a home fire, make sure the fireguard is placed in front of the fireplace.
- Complete a fire safety check.
- Ensure your passageways are clear and would not pose as an obstruction in the event of fleeing from a fire.
- Shut all doors.
- Remember to get your heating system serviced annually.
- Don’t leave any matches or lighters in close reach of children.
- Keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket in your kitchen.
- Never, ever leave a naked flame unattended and be extra careful when using candles, make sure they are fixed to a solid base and don’t forget to extinguish them.
- Refrain from smoking in bed, if you’re tired or on medication.
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- We will cover up to €3,000 for fire brigade service fees should you need to make the call.
- If your home is deemed uninhabitable we will cover the cost of temporary accommodation and rent you should have received but lost while your home is unfit to live in due to damage caused by an insured event.
- Our Contents cover will automatically increase by 10% during the months of December and January to cover extra contents within the home during the festive season if they are damaged as a result of smoke, fire or theft. (This is just for owner occupied properties. It's not on rented investment properties or Holiday Homes).
While we're talking about fire prevention - learn more about vehicle fires here