Fire Safety in the Home

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Fire Safety in the Home

Fire Safety in your Home

General Fire Safety In Your Home

Fire Prevention – 12 Key Points

  1. Young children must never be left alone in the house, caravan, mobile home or car
  2. Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach
  3. Take extreme care when cooking chips/fried food. Never leave a chip-pan unattended
  4. Check electric blankets regularly for wear and tear / damage and ensure they are used according to instructions
  5. Use an effective spark guard on open fires especially before going to bed or if children are around
  6. Do not leave newspapers, clothes or material too close to a fire or heaters
  7. Switch off and unplug all non-essential appliances when not in use
  8. Provide large, stable ashtrays in the event of smoking – a burning cigarette end can smoulder for hours before igniting and spreading
  9. Never smoke in bed
  10. Check all leads and plugs for fraying or burning and replace if necessary. Do not overload sockets.
  11. Get a qualified electrical contractor to carry out installation and repairs to electrical appliances and fittings. Don’t take chances
  12. Take special precautions at holiday periods, Halloween and Christmas

Fire Prevention – What to look out for!

  • Check your home room by room for fire dangers and correct them.
  • Remember most fires in home start in the living room and bedroom at night when we are sleeping

In summary:

    • Identify risks around the home and eliminate hazards
    • Fit smoke alarms
    • Have fire extinguishers and/or fire blankets
    • Plan escape routes & practice fire drills Remember the most important thing is prevention – prevent a fire happening in your home in the first place!

In the Sitting Room / Living Room

Open fires

  • Always use a properly fitting spark-guard in front of open fires especially when you are going out or going to bed.
  • Don’t use an open fire to air clothes as this is a major fire risk
  • Clean your chimney regularly (minimum twice a year)
  • Don’t store items like papers, magazines, clothing or combustible items near a fire
  • Be careful how you dispose of hot ashes. Don’t place them in a plastic bin
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children

Portable heaters

  • Be extremely careful how you use portable heaters
  • Position them away from furniture, curtains and flammable items
  • Ensure portable heaters are switched off and/or plugged out before you leave the room or go to bed at night
  • Never move portable heaters while they are in use


  • Ensure candles are in a suitable folder
  • Never leave lighting candles unattended and ensure candles are in proper holders
  • Position candles away from draughts
  • Ensure candles are not near items that may catch fire such as curtains
  • Avoid moving a lighting candle
  • Ensure all candles are properly extinguished before you leave the room or go to bed

In the Kitchen

  • Provide a working fire extinguisher and fire blanket in your kitchen and learn how to use them
  • Keep the cooker clean - grease can cause fires
  • Clean and replace filters in extractor fans on a regular basis
  • Don’t have anything combustible near the cooker

Avoid the use of chip pans – If you do use them:

  • Never leave them unattended
  • Never fill the pan more than on third full of oil
  • Never move a hot chip pan

In the Bedroom

  • Never smoke in the bedroom
  • Have a torch or flash lamp near your bed for light in case of an emergency
  • Never leave your mobile phone charger plugged in at night-time or when leaving the house
  • Electric blankets - check regularly for wear or damage

Have your blanket checked or replaced if: 

  • The fabric or flex is worn or frayed
  • There are scorch marks anywhere
  • The tie-tapes are damaged or missing
  • Any connections are loose
  • You are in any doubt
  • The plug or mains lead is damaged - make sure this repaired before you use it. Remember old blankets are more likely to have these faults
  • Always turn off and unplug your electric blanket before going to sleep

Last thing at night

  • Ensure spark guards are in front of open fires
  • Switch off and unplug all electrical items. Do not leave the television, radio or computer on standby.
  • Plug out phone chargers
  • If your exit requires a key for opening, ensure the key is in the lock before going to bed
  • Ensure all escape routes are clear
  • Close all doors (especially from the kitchen and living room)


  • Don’t smoke when you’re feeling tired, especially when you are in bed or relaxing in a chair
  • Always use an ashtray
  • Extinguish cigarettes fully and empty the ashtrays before going to bed. Ensure the ashtray contents are fully extinguished before disposing of them

Electrical Items

  • Use electrical items carefully and store them properly when they are not in use
  • Don’t overload sockets or use double adapters
  • If electrical cables or plugs are damaged, worn or frayed, contact an electrician


Rubbish, newspapers etc. should not be allowed to build up and should be stored appropriately.

Flammable materials such as paints, solvents, adhesives (glues) and chemicals should not be stored in the home.

Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are very important for early warning – smoke will not wake you up in fact it will make you sleep more deeply.
Smoke alarms buy you time to allow you and your family to get safely out of the house. At least two smoke alarms should suit a standard two-storey dwelling. These should be located on the landing of each floor. Alarms must be positioned at the highest point and as close to the centre of the ceiling as possible. They should be tested weekly – by pressing the test button.

Make a fire escape plan 

  • Decide on a meeting point outside
  • Telephone the Fire Brigade on 999 or 112
  • Practice the plan
  • If you have overnight visitors tell them about the plan


If you do have a fire in your house:

  • Close all doors behind you as you leave
  • If your clothes catch fire – remember -  Stop, Drop & Roll
  • Keep low to the ground (air is fresher)
  • Go to the a meeting point outside the house
  • Do not re-renter the house for any reason
  • Telephone the fire brigade from a neighbouring house or mobile phone. Call 999 or 112
  • Do not re-enter the house until advised to by the fire brigade

For more information

Dublin Fire Brigade Headquarters
165-169 Townsend Street
Dublin 2

Tel: (01) 673 4000
Fax: (01) 673 4085