Have you carried out your Fire Prevention Obligations?

As we start to come into the colder months electric heaters in our homes and offices are a great way to keep warm. However if not used safely and properly can be an extreme fire hazard and the use of portable heaters in warehouses and storage areas where a fire could develop rapidly is particularly undesirable and management procedures should be in place to prohibit portable heaters or control their use in these environments where the risk is acceptable. Also it has been reported over the last five years 819 fires have been caused by electrical heaters.  Most electrical heaters fire are preventable as long as you stick to the safety advice outlined below.

Remember this basic safety advice whenever you use an electric heater

  • Avoid buying second hand heaters

  • Put your heater on a level surface and away from any potential obstruction

  • Do not power a heater from an extension lead as these can be easily overloaded causing fires

  • Never cover, drape or leave clothing on an electric heater. Never use it to dry your clothes!

  • Keep your heater a safe distance, at least a metre, from clothes, curtains and furniture

  • Always turn off your heater and allow it to cool before moving it

  • Your heater should be regularly inspected for damage and deterioration. Do not use it if uncertain or if there is apparent damage

  • Always use the portable heater for the application it was intended.

  • When purchasing a heater, ask the salesperson whether the heater has been safety-certified. A certified heater will have a safety certification mark.

One of the best ways to make sure your heater doesn’t become a fire hazard is to turn it off when you’re not in the room. If it’s not running, it’s not drawing power and therefore not likely to ignite something nearby. Now, what about when you’re sleeping? Are space heaters safe to leave on all night? In general, it’s not recommended that you use a space heater while sleeping. Even though you’re technically present, you’re not aware of what’s going on in the house or even in your own bedroom. If you must have the space heater running for some part of the night, you need to make sure your heater has top-quality safety features.

In addition to a good-quality electric heater, you should have a fully functioning smoke detector. Smoke alarms are a vital part of alerting you to fire in the home or business and they’re designed to detect trace amounts of smoke, which is why some models even go off when you’re cooking dinner. It may be loud, but it could save your life in a real fire. Keep your family and your home safe, and make sure your smoke alarms are in working order. Test them every month, and replace the batteries as soon as the lights blink or you hear a faint beep. You should also look into carbon monoxide detectors if you use non-electric space heaters, or if you also have a fireplace or natural gas-operated clothes dryer in your home

If you have any questions or queries you can contact the MCL Fire team today on 015569280 or email us at [email protected]