Home Fire Safety Week: 2 – 8 October 2017

Home Safety Week in 2017 aims to raise awareness of the risk of accidental fires caused by home appliances.

The focus this year is white goods. Fire and rescue services will be asking people to protect themselves by ensuring appliances are registered and correctly installed, maintained and used.

For electrical appliances, you should never:   

  1. get them wet – including plugs and sockets
  2. leave them on at night – unless they are designed to be left switched on, like freezers
  3. put anything in the microwave that is made of metal, or has a metallic finish or parts

Maintain your white goods:

Electrical appliances, especially ones that run at high speeds and contain motors, such as washing machines. These should be serviced once a year by a qualified electrician.

What to do in the event of an electrical fire

In the unfortunate event that there is an electrical fire, pull the plug out, or switch off the power at the fuse box. If it’s safe to do so. Sometimes this can stop the fire immediately.

Never use water on an electrical fire, and don’t take any risks with your safety – get out, stay out and call 999.


Fire and rescue services will also reiterate important safety messages for households around smoke alarm testing and escape routes.

Escape routes:

Having considered the factors that will influence an escape, and the risk profile and / or numbers of people in the building. It is important to look at the stages in the process of escape. Also look into the maximum distances people can be expected to travel.

Escape is generally considered in four distinct stages:

  • 1 – escape from the room or area of fire origin
  • 2 – leave the compartment of origin via the circulation route to a protected stairway or an adjoining compartment offering refuge
  • 3 – getaway from the floor of origin to the ground level
  • 4 – flee at ground level away from the building


It is important that each floor plan of a building indicates the shortest route(s) to a place of comparative or ultimate home safety should an emergency evacuation be triggered. The width of final exit doors and the escape routes leading to them will dictate the maximum number of people who can safely occupy that floor. Or a specific area within it under normal conditions of operation.