It's easy to assume that nothing dangerous will happen to your family, but sadly this might not be the case.
Even though it was years ago, I will never forget the day I woke up and my house was burning down around me. Thankfully I escaped uninjured, but now that I have children I am much more aware than I might otherwise be about the dangers of fire.
Don't wait for an experience like mine to make you aware of fire safety.
Here are some tips for making your family home a safer place to be:
• Set clear kitchen rules for young children such as: never play with matches, never switch on the cooker or put anything on top of it and don't touch any saucepans on the cooker.
• Make sure young children know the kitchen is not a play area – never leave younger children alone in the kitchen when you're cooking and never let them play near the oven and hob.
• Get 'key clever' – encourage your children to check that keys are in the correct place. Keys for windows and doors should always be kept in an accessible place so you can get out quickly in the event of a fire.
• Discuss how to call 999 – make sure children know which number to call in an emergency. Also ensure that they know their address and that both are pinned up by the phone; explain the importance of only calling 999 in a real emergency.
• Keep candles, lighters and matches out of children's reach. Never leave burning candles unattended.
• Fit and maintain a smoke alarm – you should have one on each level of your home and test it weekly. Smoke alarms should be positioned close to kitchens but not in kitchens.
• Don't remove the batteries – if your smoke alarm keeps going off accidentally while you are cooking, don't remove the batteries. Instead move the alarm or change it for one with a silencer button.
• In the event of a fire 'Get out, Stay out and call 999' – don't delay for valuables, don't investigate or try to tackle the fire. Use a mobile, a neighbour's phone or a phone box to call 999. If someone needs to be rescued wait safely outside for the firefighters who have the equipment and training to do it. Never go back in.
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