Gloucester Fire & Rescue tips: Do you know the hazards in your home?

I spent time recently with the Gloucester Fire and Rescue Service on a house call to check home safety, and learned some things to share with you.

Most fires start in the kitchen, and one dangerous thing we can all do is turn on appliances like washing machines or dishwashers and then go out e.g. shopping.

Of course you need fire and smoke alarms to work and so checking those – just press the button on them – and replacing batteries is key.

If a fire starts In the kitchen, closed modern fire-proofed doors will keep the fire in there for about 30 minutes longer than if the door is open – often crucial to getting family members down the stairs and out of the house safely.

Glos Fire always recommend a plan B. If you can’t get out though the front door, what other option exists? In terraced houses this might often mean using a back roof into the garden or a neighbour’s property. Always lower yourself from a roof edge before jumping to reduce the height of the jump, and grass is clearly the softest surface if you have the option.

If you do leave the house in a hurry Glos Fire said to remember to take pets, keys and mobile telephones. Of these keys are apparently the most frequently forgotten.

Officers also checked for ‘daisy chain’ electrics, where extension leads are piled into adaptors already plugged in to other adaptors. This increases the risk of overheating a single plug socket and causing a fire – especially if one plug is a high user of electricity like a heater.

Glos Fire strongly advised not to risk overloading sockets, and in my experience teenagers’ bedrooms need frequent checks, and I recommend reminders to teenage children about this.

Glos Fire offer a free visit to check and replace your alarms, and a free Safe and Well visit to discuss all aspects of home safety, including your own health. Call them on 0800 180 41 40 or do your own self-assessment using their checklist via

Thank you to Red Watch’s Ange and Michael for the education – I hope lots of my constituents take up the offer of a check!

2016 07 25 Fire Station Visit3