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Preventing Fires at Home


Reading time: 8 minutes


Even taking a few steps in fire prevention is a good idea, but the more we can do to save lives the better. This can be in small ways, such as how we do things around the home, to regularly checking on wiring and electricals. 


Are there fire regulations for private properties?

Before we take a closer look at fire safety precautions, you might be wondering if there are any set legal requirements for the home. While there are specific fire safety regulations for landlords, such as the installation and service of fire doors,  there are no legal government guidelines for homeowners. This is left to the particular household to manage itself.


What can I do to prevent a house fire?

It’s important to have an awareness of hazards that can cause fires, or obstructions that may prevent escape. What can really help is to make your awareness part of a regular routine. Some jobs you might want to check on every couple of months, whereas some can be done every day. 


The basic guidelines are:


  • Be aware of potential fire risks

  • Understand and effectively prevent and reduce fire risks

  • Plan an escape route

  • Ensure smoke alarms are working properly, testing them at least once a month


There are many potential fire risks around the home, and among the most regular and every day things. With this in mind, look out for:


  • Wiring and sockets – there are around 4000 fires every year in the UK caused by faulty wiring*. Look for broken sockets and exposed wires.

  • Plug sockets – don’t overload plugs. Having too many plugs connected to one socket can lead to overheating. If you don’t have enough sockets, use an extension lead, with an in-built or separate surge protector.

  • Candles – never leave them unattended, even if you believe they’re safe and out of the way.

  • Cigarettes – every six days, someone dies in a fire caused by a cigarette*. Always put cigarettes out properly when finished, and don’t leave them for too long in an ashtray or on the side of a surface like a table.

  • Papers – don’t leave stacks of papers or newspapers lying around. These can become very dry and with a stray spark from or match, or even under intense sunlight, can catch alight very quickly.
  • Are Smoke Alarms Necessary?
  • Fire Safety in the Kitchen
  • Make a Fire Escape Plan

Being more prepared for fires can not only help prevent them, but save lives in case a fire breaks out. We have more fire safety advice for commercial and private properties here at Trade Corner.


*Based on government-published data.


Disclaimer: The information contained on this page is intended as an overall introduction and is not intended as specific advice from a qualified professional. Travis Perkins aims to avoid, but accepts no liability, in the case that any information stated is out of date.