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Useful fire safety tips and advice

Did you know?

  • You are more than twice as likely to die in a fire at home if you do not have a working smoke alarm fitted
  • Faulty electrics cause around 7,000 house fires across the country every year
  • 18 people die each year because the battery in their smoke alarm was flat or missing.

Things you can do
Everyone you live with must know what to do if a fire breaks out, so you can all escape as quickly and safely as possible.
Plan your escape route together, so everyone knows what to do.
Make sure passages and stairways are always clear of things like rubbish bags, prams, bikes, mobility scooters or furniture. Fire smoke makes it difficult to see ahead, so these big objects could stop people escaping.

Electrical goods
• Electrical items can start fires if they’re faulty or used incorrectly
• Make sure USB chargers for e-cigarettes, smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices are used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
• Watch out for warning signs like flickering lights, hot plugs or worn cables
• Switch off any electrical equipment not being used (this will help save energy bills too)

• Don’t leave lit cigarettes unattended and make sure they’re stubbed out
• Never smoke in bed
• Keep matches out of the reach of children

Fire and candles
• Put fireguards around fires
• Be careful with candles and not leaving any naked flames unattended

• Never leave cooking unattended
• Never fill a chip pan more than a third full of fat or oil

Portable heating
• Never use heaters to dry clothes – and make sure they stand on a stable surface

Safe storage
• Always store motorcycles or petrol cans in a safe store or garage.

Before you go to bed
• Unplug all portable heaters.
• Make sure all cigarettes are put out. Leave ashtrays outside if you’re unsure. 
• Close the doors to all rooms. This should slow the spread of fire and smoke if a fire does break out.

Remember smoke alarms save lives
Please don’t disconnect or remove your smoke alarm as it really could save your life.

If you do not have a smoke alarm please call Kent Fire and Rescue's home safety advice team on 0800 923 7000 or email your contact details to home@kent.fire-uk.org

Are you hard of hearing?
You can get strobe light and vibrating-pad smoke alarms.  Contact the Action on Hearing Loss Information Line on:
- Telephone 0808 808 0123
- Textphone 0808 808 9000
- SMS 07800 000 360


Do you live in a flat?
The following additional fire safety tips could really help keep you and your family safe: 

  • Closing the fire doors between rooms in your flat  – don’t prop them open
  • Not covering or dismantling your smoke alarm
  • Giving us access to your flat if we need to repair your smoke alarm
  • Not cooking under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Never throwing water on a chip pan 
  • Not overloading electrical sockets
  • Not keeping petrol or flammables in your flat or on your balcony

Keep safe in your block by:

  • Not blocking fire escapes or communal areas with personal items such as bikes, mobility scooters or prams
  • Keeping your front door closed if you open up onto an internal communal area e.g. staircase, corridor
  • Not smoking in internal communal areas or blocks
  • Not having a barbecue on your balcony
  • Putting your rubbish in the bin areas provided rather than leaving it in communal areas
  • Not dumping large household items in communal or bin areas