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How to Prevent Fire Damage at Home How to Prevent Fire Damage at Home

AA Home Emergency Response

How to Prevent Fire Damage at Home

Published 31st January 2024Read Time 4 min

Creating a fire-safe environment at home is crucial for ensuring the safety of you and your family. House fires can be devastating, but fortunately, many are preventable with the right knowledge and practices. Here are some essential tips to help you avoid house fires.

1.     Regularly Check Your Smoke Alarms

A very basic yet crucial step in fire prevention is ensuring your smoke alarms are working properly. Test them monthly if you can, replacing batteries at least once a year. Change the alarms every ten years, or as the manufacturer’s guidance says. 

2. Be Kitchen-Smart

Many house fires start in the kitchen. Never leave cooking unattended, and keep flammable items like oven mitts and towels away from hot surfaces and naked flames. If you are cooking with hot oil that catches fire, do not throw water on it, instead cover it with a lid to starve it of oxygen.

3.     Maintain Electrical Appliances

Inspect electrical cables regularly for fraying and any signs of damage. If they appear faulty in any way, replace them or have an expert look them over. Avoid overloading plug sockets. Use extension cables and adaptors with built-in circuit breakers for added safety. Remember, high-wattage appliances should be plugged directly into the wall.

In the event of a fire, it is crucial that you have adequate Home Insurance to help cover the costs and help you through the process of getting your home back on track.

4.  Safe Heating Practices

During colder months, heating equipment like portable heaters need space. Keep them at least three feet away from anything that can burn. Have your heating system serviced regularly by a professional to ensure it’s safe to use. Electric heaters use a lot of power so be sure you’re using a socket in good condition that can handle the power draw.

It is also a very good idea to take care of your chimney if you use a stove or open fire. We have a full guide on how to prevent chimney fires up on our blog. 

5. Be Cautious with Candles and Smoking

Candles can create a cozy atmosphere, but they are also a fire hazard. Never leave them burning unattended and keep them away from any materials that could catch fire. If you smoke, do it outside if possible and ensure cigarettes are fully extinguished in a sturdy ashtray.

6. Store Flammable Liquids Safely

Store all flammable liquids, such as a cannister of petrol for the lawnmower in approved containers outside the house. This reduces the risk of these materials igniting from a household source like a spark or high heat.

One final bit of advice…

It is a very good idea to have an escape plan in case a fire does break out. Make sure that everyone in the household knows the best way to exit the building, and what to do in the event. It may be too late to prevent further damage to your home, but you could save your own life.

Prevention is the best policy. Stay vigilant, stay safe and ensure your home is a secure environment for everyone.

Having good level of Home Insurance cover is crucial in case of any mishaps or serious events in your home. AA Ireland Home Insurance comes with Emergency Home Rescue as standard. We also offer Alternative Accommodation should your home be damaged by fire.

There is some good information on the various Fire Services in Ireland on the Citizens Information website. It also contains information on Fire Safety Certificates and Building Inspections.