Keep your home safe this winter

Residents are being advised to keep their home safe this winter by following advice from Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS).

Important safety advice is being provided to keep you safe while temperatures plummet.

Some key tips to follow to ensure you don’t put yourself at risk of fire in your home include:

  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms fitted
  • Ensure you have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted
  • Plan your escape route
  • In the event of fire, get out, stay out and call 999

With colder nights and energy prices rising, portable heaters can seem a tempting option. To stay safe, don’t forget to turn it off overnight and keep it away from flammable objects.

Only use heaters that are designed for indoor use. Outdoor heaters can produce a lot of heat which would be a fire risk in the confined space of a house, but they also produce carbon monoxide which can be fatal.

If you are using a device such as a heater that you haven’t used for several years or has been stored away for emergencies, check it’s not subject to a product recall or repair here.

Other advice to follow when using portable heaters includes:

  • Don’t place them where they will block an escape route
  • Plug electric heaters into a wall socket, not an extension lead – they can overheat and cause fires
  • They must only be moved when they’ve been switched off and have cooled down

If you are using candles, keep them out of reach of children and away from clothes and furnishings. More information on candle safety is available here.

You can find more advice on keeping your home safe here.

Safety information to help you travel safely on the roads this winter is available here and general GFRS advice on outdoor safety, including awareness of the risks and dangers around water, can be found here.

Resources for families with children have been made available from StayWise. They include games and activities for children to learn about safety, as well as a colouring sheet about icy ponds, and are available here.

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has issued guidance on the cost of living to encourage people to take steps to prevent the risk of accidental fires in the home, which can be found here.

Mark Preece, chief fire officer at Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Please follow these safety tips through the winter to avoid putting yourself and your loved ones at risk of fire in your home.

“If you are using a portable heater, check it is for indoor use and is safe to use. Only use appliances such as ovens, hobs and outdoor heaters for their intended purpose, not to keep a room warm, as this increases fire risk.”

Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member with responsibility for the fire and rescue service, said: “This is a challenging time for everyone as we are all looking at ways to try to reduce our energy bills. However it’s really important that this doesn’t compromise our safety in the home so I would encourage everyone to follow the advice given by Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service.

“It could help to keep you and your family safe through the winter.”

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