Fire Safety for Home

Smoke Detection Systems
Escape Plans
Parents and Childminders
Basic Rules for Avoiding Fire
Basic Rules in the Event of a Fire  

Smoke Detection Systems
Smoke detection can be provided in the form of battery operated units, or can be connected to an electrical circuit. There are two types of units: ionised and optical. Each can be located to suit your domestic requirements. Smoke detectors activate at the initial stages of a fire, and if properly located will allow the occupants to escape safely.
 
Ideally, you should locate smoke detectors in every room except the kitchen and bathroom, where cooking and washing activities would frequently activate the alarm. The minimum requirement is for smoke detection coverage along all escape routes from rooms. In a two-storey or multiple-storey house, a device should be located on every landing level. If the dwelling is single storey with a hallway enclosure, then the minimum requirement is for one detection device in the hallway.
 
Your smoke detection device should be checked every week to ensure that it is operating efficiently. Regular cleaning is also essential to maintain your smoke detector in proper working order.
 

Escape Plans
If a fire occurs in your home, particularly at night, valuable time can be lost by not having a proper escape plan available. Upon activation of the fire alarm system, you should ensure that all occupants are awake and ready to leave. Do not waste valuable time searching for your belongings. Proceed calmly along the agreed escape route, closing all doors behind you as you leave. Do not waste time investigating the source of the fire. Check doors prior to opening them along the escape route, to ensure they are not warm.
When you have made your way outside to a designated safe location, check that all occupants are present. Then phone the Fire Service using a mobile phone or a neighbour's phone to inform them of the fire. Do not re-enter the building for any reason. Leave this to the professionals.
Should your primary escape route be blocked, then use an alternative plan. Proceed to a designated room, from which escape is possible. Close the door behind you to keep out the smoke. Place bed linen or other clothing at the bottom of the door, and notify the Fire Service by phone if possible. Should your means of escape be through a window, you should open the window, allowing one of the adults to lower him or herself from the sill level. Do not jump. The remainder of the family can then be lowered from the same window.
If you are trapped at a level above the first floor, then you must proceed to a room from which a rescue can be employed. Following the same procedure described above, open the appropriate window and draw attention to yourself by raising the alarm.

Parents and Childminders
Statistics show that a disproportionate amount of children each year die needlessly in fires. The reason is clear: while children have a curious fascination with fire, they do not always realise the dangers associated with it, or what to do should a fire occur in their homes. Statistics show that a disproportionate amount of children each year die needlessly in fires. The reason is clear: while children have a curious fascination with fire, they do not always realise the dangers associated with it, or what to do should a fire occur in their homes.
While we teach children to be careful when crossing the road and we encourage them to clean their teeth, we neglect to discuss with them the dangers associated with fire. It is important to realise that fire, once started, can become rapidly out of control, and can cause serious injury or death. For this reason, the some basic rules on how to avoid fire should be taught to children.


Basic Rules for Avoiding Fire
• Never play with matches or lighters.
• If matches or lighters are left unattended, bring it to the attention of an adult.
• Never play with a lighted candle.
• Do not play close to a fire or heater, or leave cloths or toys near a fire or heater.
• Do not throw objects into an open fire.
• Do not interfere with electrical wiring or sockets.
• Do not turn on a cooker or a toaster and attempt to cook without adult supervision.
• Keep away from saucepans that have been placed on a hob.
• Do not place objects on top of heaters or lights.
• Never participate in the lighting of a bonfire without adult supervision

Basic Rules in the Event of a Fire  
If a fire occurs, it is important for your child to know what to do. In fact, he or she may help save your life.
The following are some basic instructions you can give to your children to follow in the event of a fire:
• If you see smoke, raise the alarm immediately.
• If possible, inform an adult.
• Get out of the building as soon as possible.
• If there is smoke, crawl along the floor, as the air is cleaner there. The smoke will contain gasses, which affect the you think and may kill you. If a phone is available, call 999/112, and ask for the fire service, giving your address slowly and clearly. Then return to an agreed location outside your home.
• Do not re-enter your house for any reason, either for toys or pets. Leave this job to the fire fighters.
• If your escape route is blocked, go into the designated room with a window, put things around the door to stop smoke entering, open the window and raise the alarm.
• Never hide in a cupboard or under a bed. You need to raise the alarm and get out.
ADVICE FOR PARENTS: NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN ALONE IN THE HOME.






Kerry County Council, Co. Buildings, Rathass, Tralee

Phone: (066) 718 3500     Email: info@kerrycoco.ie

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