Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) is proud to be supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) UK Home Safety Week (UKHSW).
The main focus of UKHSW, is to raise awareness of the hidden dangers in the home presented by traditional home appliances and how the correct use, good care and maintenance of them reduces the risk of fire.
How do you know if your appliance is safe? One of the easiest steps is to register them. The Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA) are supporting UKHSW and their website registermyappliance.org.uk allows consumers to register several appliances all in one place. In addition, appliances can be up to 12 years old, which is useful for those who have older or second hand goods.
Ensuring that your household appliances are safe should be a part of your wider fire safety plan. This should include knowing how to escape in case of a fire and that you have working smoke alarms on every floor of your home.
NFCC Prevention lead, Stewart Edgar said: “UKHSW is an opportunity for fire and rescue services to help people prevent their everyday appliances becoming a fire risk. Unfortunately, in the UK more than 15,000 fires were linked to white goods and their use in the home in 2015/16. It’s important that people are well prepared in case of an incident and help older or vulnerable friends keep their homes safe.”
To help residents maintain a safe home environment, DWFRS offers free Safe & Well checks. A Safe and Well check is a totally free service where a DWFRS Safe & Well advisor will visit you in your home, fit free smoke alarms where required, and offer advice to keep you and your family safer and healthier in your home.
Safe & Well Manager, Vikki Thomas said: “We all want to feel safe in our home. We’ve found that house fires that involve domestic appliances often have devastating consequences. By taking proactive steps to lessen the risk of a house fire, we can help people live happier and safer.”
DWFRS is giving the following advice to help ensure residents are as safe as possible in their home:
- Switch off appliances at the plug where possible before you go to bed.
- Don’t leave appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines running overnight or when the house is empty.
- If you have a recalled appliance or an appliance subject to a repair order – don’t risk it – stop using it.
- Make sure it’s installed and maintained properly. This can be as simple as ensuring appliances arn’t sitting on power leads or not defrosting a freezer.
- Avoid inappropriate installation. Make sure appliances installed in outbuildings such as garages and sheds are appropriate for outdoor use.
- Don’t keep using appliances if they start to make unusual noises, smells or don’t operate properly. Have them checked by a professional.
- Make sure you have working smoke alarms fitted on every floor of your home and test them regularly.
- Have a planned escape route and make sure you and your family practice it regularly.
For more information on maintaining fire safety in your home, please visit www.dwfire.org.uk/safety or if you would like to organise a FREE Safe and Well visit, please call 0800 038 2323.