Fire safety checklist
Use our fire safety checklist to help make you and your family safer at home. We recommend using this checklist in each room of your house to help make sure everything is covered.
Alarms and equipment
- Make sure you have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home.
- Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Can you set a calendar reminder?
- Have a carbon monoxide alarm in every room where there is a fuel-burning appliance.
- You should make sure you have a clear escape plan so everyone in the household knows what to do in the event of a fire.
- You can also practise the escape plan to help remember it.
- Keep tea towels and other flammable items away from cookers and hobs.
- Pull your toaster out from under cupboards before using it and empty the crumb tray after use.
- Switch off anything you’re not using.
- Never put anything metal in the microwave.
- Always keep an eye on your cooking - never leave anything cooking when you’re out (or asleep).
- When cooking with oil, use as little as possible. If you are deep-frying, use an electric thermostat-controlled deep-fat fryer rather than deep frying on the hob.
- Never put water on flames or a smoking pan - it will cause it to explode.
- Never leave appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines or tumble dryers running when you’re out of the house, or asleep.
- Use extension leads carefully. Be aware of the total load on each plug. Never use powerful appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines or tumble dryers on a multi-plug extension lead. Don't use block plug adapters.
- Always switch off electrical items when they’re not in use.
- When using chargers only use the charger that came with your device. Charge on a hard, non-flammable surface. Never leave charging devices unattended.
- Only use laptops on a hard surface.
- Use heaters safely and never cover them or dry clothes on them. If you are drying clothes, keep them away from the heater.
Read more about electrical safety.
Flames and fires
- If you smoke, always smoke outdoors. Make sure cigarettes, cigars and pipes are properly extinguished. Always use an ashtray on a flat and solid surface.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Keep matches and lighters away from children, and store them out of reach.
- Avoid using candles. Use battery-powered options instead.
- If you must use candles, place them on a safe and secure surface well away from anything that could catch fire. Put tea lights in a holder or on a plate. The foil they’re contained in can become extremely hot and melt what’s underneath.
- Never leave candles unattended. Put them out when you leave the room.
- If you have an open fire or wood burner, get the chimney swept at least once a year by a professional, accredited chimney sweep.
- Before you go to bed, switch everything off, and close all internal doors.
Hidden fire hazards
Some fire risks are not easy to spot. Watch out for these surprising fire risks in the home.
Moisturisers or emollient creams for dry skin conditions contain flammable materials. The creams alone are not flammable, but a build-up of emollient/skin cream residue (even from just one application) on fabrics such as bedding, clothing and dressings, can increase flammability. This can also build up on other items that are washed with material containing emollients.
If anyone in your household uses emollients, you must all take extra care around heat and flames.
Wheat bags are packs that you warm up in a microwave. Use them with care. Follow the instructions and don’t overheat them.
Only use wheat bags on the body. Do not use them as bed warmers because they get even hotter under the bed covers, which could result in a fire.
Similar products such as microwavable soft toys should also be used with caution. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions. We recommend never using them in bed and always ensuring an adult is present.
Sunlight can be magnified by mirrors or glass objects near windows leaving scorch marks on furnishings and starting fires. This can even happen during the winter months if the sun is bright.