Make sure your family are safe in the event of a fire

Escape routesAvon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is urging families to use Child Safety Week (Monday 24 to Sunday 30 June) to ensure they reduce the risk of fire in their homes.

Between April 2012 and March 2013 AF&RS attended 477 accidental house fires. In total 225 of those started in the kitchen as a result of cooking and 71 were caused by domestic appliances.

Over 500 children under the age of 11 are injured and 11 are killed in fires in the home in England every year. Fires account for nearly half of all accidental child deaths.

In 39% of the fires attended by AF&RS last year, no smoke alarm was fitted in the property.

AF&RS Community Safety Station Manager, John Rides, said: “If there is one thing you do today, make sure you fit a smoke alarm on every level of your property and check that the batteries are working.

“A smoke alarm will provide an early warning that there is a fire and will give you and your family time to escape the property.

“When you are putting your youngsters to bed think about how you would get out safely if there was a fire. Do you have an escape route and does everyone in the house know it?

“Turning off all electrical items which don’t need to be left on continuously before going to bed will also reduce the risk of a fire breaking out and closing all internal doors will prevent a fire from spreading to the rest of the premises.”

Safety advice:
• Close all internal doors before going to bed to stop a fire from spreading.
• Turn off and unplug all electrical appliances, unless they are designed to be left on – like your freezer.
• Turn off your cooker after use.
• Don’t leave the washing machine, dishwasher or tumble drier on.
• Turn heaters off and put up fireguards.
• Fully extinguish candles and cigarettes properly.
• Keep matches and smoking materials away from children.
• Make sure all exits are kept clear. Keep door and window keys in the room where they may be required.
• Make sure you have an escape route, which everyone in the family knows and have practised.
AF&RS carries out Home Fire Safety Visits for vulnerable people, including families with young children, to offer fire safety advice.

For more information or to find out more about fire safety visit www.avonfire.gov.uk