It’s often said that a man’s home is his castle. But, each year 2.7 million people require treatment at their local A&E department, due to accidents within the home. Such accidents can be prevented.
It’s estimated there are over 1,000 cases each year of carbon monoxide poisoning, with under-14s and over-65s being the two age groups most at risk of falling victim. One of the main reasons for carbon monoxide being responsible for so many hospital admissions each year is because it is known as the silent killer – due to you not being able to see, hear, smell or taste the gas.
Whilst such poisoning is responsible for a vast number of hospital admissions each year, as a homeowner there are steps you can take to protect your family from falling victim to carbon monoxide poisoning, including:
- Regularly checking your gas based appliances, particularly the boiler, to ensure the pilot light is burning blue rather than orange. You should also check there aren’t any sooty stains on or near appliances. [source: Rospa]
- Having your boiler annually serviced by a registered gas engineer. Not only will this help prevent the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, but it’ll also give you the peace of mind that your boiler is working to the best of its ability. To help find a registered engineer, it’s advisable to visit the Gas Safe Register website.
- Fitting gas detectors. Such devices are one of the best and least expensive ways to provide an early warning when unusual levels are gas are detected in the home. Carbon monoxide detectors should be fitted close to your boiler and cooking appliances, and as with smoke alarms they should be tested regularly.
Most fires within the home are started accidentally, yet the effects can be devastating. In fact, it has been revealed that during 2013/2014 Fire and Rescue Services throughout the UK were called to over 39,500 household fires.
The most common cause of such fires was the misuse of equipment / appliances in the home, whilst a large percentage of household fires were also caused by cooking appliances. And whilst it can never be predicted if and when you could fall victim to a fire in your home, there are steps you can take to a) minimise the risk and b) reduce the risk of such a fire have devastating effects. These steps include:
Installing Smoke Alarms:
Smoke alarms are essential within the home due to providing early warnings to house fires, providing extra time for occupants to escape. Yet in 31% of household fires during 2013/2014 a smoke alarm wasn’t present, whilst in 19% of cases a smoke alarm was present but didn’t work.
Installing smoke alarms throughout your home can make the difference to your family’s safety in the event of a fire, and it is recommended as a minimum smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home. Ideally, each room with a fire risk should be fitted with a smoke alarm, although they shouldn’t be installed in the kitchen or bathroom as the steam can cause faults / accidentally set the alarm off.
With smoke alarms fitted throughout your home, make sure these are tested on a regular basis – and the batteries are replaced as and when necessary to ensure they remain in full working order, providing you and your family with the extra level of safety throughout the home.
Taking Preventative Steps:
With the majority of household fires starting accidentally, it’s important to make sure you take preventative steps throughout your home. Such steps we recommend include ensuring candles throughout your home are kept away from flammable sources and they aren’t left unattended. We also recommend you don’t place tea lights on plastic surfaces either.
Other preventative steps which you need to take when it comes to reducing the risk of fires accidentally starting in your home include:
- Never leaving chip pans unattended / filled by more than a third
- Keeping flammables away from heat
- Not overloading electrical sockets
- Checking electrical plugs, sockets and cables for scorching / fraying
Planning Your Escape:
Whilst taking preventative steps can help to reduce the risk of fires occurring and the installation of smoke alarms can provide much needed early warnings in case of an emergency, it’s also important as a family you sit down and plan your escape route in the case of an emergency.
Taking the time to fit and maintain smoke alarms and gas detectors throughout your home can make all the difference to helping keep you and your family safe and secure, which is why at BuySpares we stock a range of household safety products at an affordable price.