Fire safety in the home – be extra careful and avoid fires in the first place

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With many people still staying at home, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is asking everyone to be extra careful, to avoid fires happening in the first place.

HWFRS is calling for people to think about basic fire safety in the home, and to take action to avoid becoming a further casualty for the NHS.

During the most recent 10-year period (01/04/2011 to 31/03/2021), HWFRS dealt with 5,668 domestic fires, an average of about 566 per year.

This compares with the 10-year period ending one year earlier (01/04/2010 to 31/03/2020), when the service dealt with 5,934 domestic fires, an average of some 593 per year.

Emma Roberts, Head of Prevention, said:

“We know that there are large numbers of people at home now due to the pandemic and whether they are self-isolating or working from home, we’d like to encourage people to think about basic fire safety in the home. We want to ensure that everyone is taking the right steps to ensure they are safe from fire.

She continued: “Working smoke alarms save lives. The majority of homes across the country now have an alarm fitted, but do you know if they are working? We want people to test the alarms on a weekly basis. We are spending more time at home now, so there is no excuse to not have working smoke alarms and to not be testing them regularly.”

HWFRS is urging people to take note of the following vital safety advice:

  • Smoke alarms save lives but only if they are working and are in the right place. You should have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home.
  • Keep heaters well away from clothes, curtains, furniture and other flammable materials. NEVER use heaters to dry clothes. ALWAYS switch off and unplug your heaters before going to bed.
  • If you smoke, use a proper ashtray and make sure it is placed on a level surface away from combustible materials. Make sure your cigarettes are fully extinguished. Don’t smoke in bed – you could easily fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and cause a fire.
  • Keep candles and tea lights away from anything that can catch fire. NEVER leave lit candles unattended – make sure they are fully extinguished before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Make it a priority to keep cooking areas clear and clean from combustible materials. Make sure your oven and grill are clean – a build-up of fat or grease can cause a fire. DON’T leave pans unattended while cooking and NEVER leave children or pets unattended in the kitchen.
  • Make sure everyone in your household knows how to get out in the event of a fire. Ensure your escape routes are clear from any clutter. Keep your door and window keys in a known and accessible place.


In the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.

Finally, Emma added: HWFRS Prevention Technicians and Fire crews are delighted to visit local residents and carry out a FREE Home Fire Safety visit if they qualify, to help keep them safe in their homes.

Why not contact us on 0800 032 1155 to see if you qualify for a free Home Fire Safety visit or would like any fire safety advice?

“This check is tailored to an individual’s needs, and we can identify any health and care needs that require signposting to local services to help ensure safety and wellbeing.”

Go to the Fire Kills and websites for a wealth of guidance to improve safety in your home.