According to the Home Office’s Fire Statistics Monitor, there were 183 fire-related fatalities from accidental dwelling fires in England between April 2016 and March 2017, representing 70 percent of all fire-related fatalities in England. The Office for National Statistics reported over 235,000 domestic burglaries between July 2016 and June 2017, with 2,534 reported as ‘aggravated burglaries.’ To help in the prevention of crime and the prevention, detection and containment of fire, Chubb offers this 12-point guide to staying safe over the festive period:
1. Fit a smoke alarm. Regularly test your smoke alarm and change the batteries at least once a year.
2. Don’t place your Christmas tree by a log-fire, radiator or heater. Turn all Christmas tree lights off before going to bed at night.
3. In case of a fire, have a plan. Make sure you have more than one escape route should your exit become blocked.
4. If using an electric blanket, make sure the cord isn’t frayed or worn before plugging it in. Never leave it on unsupervised for longer than 15 minutes.
5. In the kitchen, keep a fire blanket or suitable extinguisher handy.
6. Never leave fires, candles or any form of exposed flame in the home unattended and ensure children are always supervised when around fires, candles or matches.
7. If using gas-, oil- or coal-burning appliances, use a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm to be quickly alerted of CO dangers. Ensure the home is properly ventilated and equipment is regularly serviced and maintained.
8. Going away? Do not post on social media about your travel plans and install a timer to switch lights on and off so that the house appears to be occupied. Ask to redirect your post, cancel any newspaper and milk deliveries and ask your neighbor to take any packages away.
9. Do not keep keys in a place that is visible from outside, such as hanging on hooks, and do not hide keys near a door, such as under the doormat, as thieves know to check these places.
10.Install a motion-activated exterior light to welcome you home after dark – and deter unwanted visitors.
11.Outside of the home, be aware of your surroundings and take care of high-value belongings like mobile phones, which have become a popular target for thieves.
12.Exercise common sense.
“Incidents of domestic burglary are more common than many would think. By applying common sense and following our list of basic security precautions, we hope people and their properties are safer this winter,” said Jane Garland, marketing and communications, Chubb Fire & Security.
“We also urge everyone to be mindful of the devastating effects a house fire can have,” Garland added. “With there being such a high percentage of fire-related fatalities happening in homes, it is critical that domestic fire safety is not overlooked. Installing a fire or smoke alarm is one of the easiest measures to prevent a potentially devastating incident from taking place.”
For more information, visit www.chubb.co.uk.