Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Portable Generator Safety Tips

Portable generators are great to have when the power goes out. But when using a generator, there are three dangers that you need to know about in order to avoid them. They are electric shock, Carbon Monoxide poisoning, and fire.

When using a generator there is a chance of getting electrocuted. Make sure to keep your generator dry and if it rainy or wet don't use. Operate your generator on a dry surface under an open, roof-like unit. Don't touch the generator unless your hands are dry.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning occurs when you inhale your generators toxic exhaust. Most important, is to never use a generator indoors. This includes: inside your home, garage, basement, crawl space or any partial or enclosed area which is connected to your living space. Using a fan, or opening windows and doors is not enough to prevent CO build-up.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Escaping from a high rise

Talk through your ‘escape plan’ with everyone who lives in your home. Always include children, the elderly and disabled people.

Choose an escape route – avoid lifts and balconies. Plan how you would get out of your own flat and escape from your floor.

Choose a safe room, ideally one with a phone, and a window that opens. If you can’t escape, you are safer in a room, lobby or corridor as they are
protected by fire-resistant walls.

Escaping from a high rise

Make sure everyone knows where the stairs are. It is easy to get confused in the dark, so count how many doors you need to go through. Don’t use the lift.

Make sure everyone knows where the fire alarm operating points are.

Check there are no boxes, rubbish or anything which can catch fire easily in corridors or stairways.Make sure doors to stairways and fire escapes are not
locked. Regularly check you can open these doors from both sides.

Escaping from a high rise

Even if there is a fire warning system in your block of flats, you should still get a smoke alarm for your home – it will respond quicker and give you vital extra
time to get out.You should fit it in the corridor or lobby area outside the bedrooms.

If you need help or advice on which is the most suitable smoke alarm for you or where to install it – contact your local Fire and Rescue Service (fire
station). They will be happy to advise you.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Electrical safety - ELECTRIC BLANKETS

Check the blanket and its lead for the following signs of
wear and tear.
– Fraying fabric
– Damp patches
– Damaged or missing tapes
– Worn lead
– Loose connections
– Scorch marks
– Exposed elements
– Creasing or folding
– Soiling

Get your blanket tested by an expert every three years. For details of who can test your blanket, ask the shop where you bought it or contact your council’s Trading
Standards Department.

Replace electric blankets every 10 years. Never buy second-hand blankets and look out for the British or European safety mark

Use your electric blanket safely

Don’t get an electric blanket wet. If it gets wet,don’t use it until it is completely dry. Never switch it on to dry it.

Always follow the instructions.

Store electric blankets flat or rolled – never fold them

Leave a blanket switched on all night only if it has thermostatic controls that make it safe to use all night. Otherwise, switch it off and unplug it before you get into bed.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Prevent overheating – use the right fuse

  • Use a ‘bar-type’fused adaptor on a lead, rather than a ‘block-type’adaptor.
  • Appliances that use more than1000 watts (for example, kettles,computers, toasters,washing machines and hairdryers) need a 13-amp fuse.
  • Throw away and replace damaged cables.Never use tape to mend or join cables.
  • Don’t plug adaptors into adaptors – use one adaptor in each socket.
  • Keep the outer covering of the power lead securely inside the plug. Make sure the internal wires are firmly in place and that the right colour wire is in the right place
  • Never run cables under mats or carpets where you cannot see wear and tear.
  • Appliances that use up to 700 watts (for example,TVs, table lamps, radios, videos, DVD players and electric clocks) need a 3-amp fuse.
  • Don’t allow the total amps of all plugs in the adaptor to add up to more than 13 amps (or 3000 watts of power).
  • Appliances that use 700 to 1000 watts (for example,vacuum cleaners, small electrical tools, blenders and food processors) need a 5-amp fuse.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Electrical safety - WHAT TO CHECK FOR – DANGER SIGNS

  • Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order, and have them serviced regularly.This is especially important for washing machines and tumble dryers that may be lefton overnight.

Electrical safety

  • Check electrical leads and plugs for wear and tear and faulty wiring. Frayed leads or exposed internal wires are fire risks.
  • Never buy an electrical appliance without knowing it is safe to use.New appliances should have the British or European safety mark on it.If the appliance is second-hand,always have it checked by a qualified electrician before you use it.

Electrical safety
  • Don’t overload sockets – use one plug in each socket.
  • Keep electrical leads, plugs and appliances away from water.
  • Watch out for hot plugs and sockets, fuses that blow for no reason, flickering lights, and scorch marks on sockets or plugs.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cigarette safety – the essentials

More people die in fires caused by smoking than in fires with any other single cause. Because tobacco is designed to stay alight, cigarettes can easily start an accidental fire.

Cigarette fires

  • Keep your home and family safe from fire.
  • Use your common sense – know the risks and make sure when you put it out, it really is out!
  • Take extra care if you smoke when you’re drowsy, taking prescription drugs, or if you have been drinking. It’s too easy to fall asleep and not notice that a cigarette is still burning.
  • Don’t leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe lying around. They can easily overbalance as they burn down, land on a carpet or a newspaper, and start a fire.
  • Take responsibility and keep lighters and matches out of reach of children.
  • Don’t light up if you need to lie down. Despite the risk of falling asleep or setting the bed on fire, people are still smoking in bed.

Cigarette fires

  • Use a proper ashtray. Make sure the ashtray is heavy, can't tip over easily, and is made of a material that won't burn.
  • Never tap your ash into a wastepaper basket – only an ashtray. Make sure it can't be easily knocked over and don’t let ash build up.
  • People often like to smoke when they're drinking. But someone who has had a few drinks can end up passing out with a cigarette in their hand. The result? Severe burns, permanent scarring, or even death.
  • Every year children die from starting fires with cigarettes and lighters they shouldn't have.
  • Consider buying child-resistant lighters and matchboxes. Matchboxes now carry this warning label.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Celebrate safely

  • Keep them away from anything that can catch fire, like Christmas trees, decorations, curtains and so on.
  • Let your guests know where to find door and window keys.
  • Look out for elderly people, children,and anyone with problems getting about.
  • Make sure exits are kept clear.
  • If people are smoking, put out extra ashtrays and make sure all cigarettes are put out properly.
  • Make sure they’re in secure holders on a heat-resistant surface.
  • Use your common sense and keep decorations and greeting cards away from heaters, lights, the fireplace and candles.
  • Only buy fireworks marked with British Safety Standard 7114 and always read the instructions.

Celebrate safely

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Candle safety


  1. Keep them away from draughts and anything that can easily catch fire like furniture or curtains.
  2. Don’t let candles fall over! You need to keep candles firmly upright in a proper holder.
  3. Don’t let anything fall into the hot wax, like matchsticks.
  4. Use a ‘snuffer’or a spoon to put candles out. It’s safer than blowing them,which can send sparks and hot wax flying.
  5. Keep candles out of reach of children and pets.
  6. Always place candles on a heat-resistant surface. Night lights and tea lights can melt plastic surfaces like TV tops and bathtubs.
  7. Don’t lean across candles! You could set fire to your clothes or hair.
  8. Always leave at least four inches (10cm) between two burning candles.

Candle safety

Friday, February 03, 2006

Avoiding fire afloat

Portable fire extinguishers
Avoiding fire afloat

Portable fire extinguishers provide an immediate response to a small
fire and help you and your crew escape to a safe place.
Keep extinguishers in easy to reach positions close to escape routes
and the fire risk points, e.g. the engine space and the galley.
Make sure all portable fire extinguishers carry certifying marks, such as
the ‘Kitemark’ (see BSS Guide section 6.1).
Follow the manufacturers’ instructions to keep extinguishers in good
working order and consider having them serviced annually. Keep
portable extinguishers out of direct sunlight otherwise plastic
components may deteriorate.
Read the suppliers instructions and make sure that you know how to
use the extinguishers.
Understand what types of fire your extinguishers can be used on.
Never use water extinguishers on electrical fires.
Never use carbon dioxide extinguishers inside an occupied cabin space.
Have a fire blanket conforming with BS EN 1869 or BS 6575 fixed near
to the cooker and immediately to hand to deal with pan fires.
When on board, make sure that all fire extinguishers are in their
correct places and not in storage.
This publication may be freely reproduced, except for advertising,
endorsement or commercial purposes. Please acknowledge the source as
Boat Safety Scheme.

Be safe
• Check that all appliances are turned off and if possible, close the valve
on the LPG cylinders before you go to bed or leave the boat.
• If you must use candles, place them upright, in suitable, stable holders;
out of draughts and away from curtains and furnishings. Never leave a
burning candle unattended. Make sure they are put out safely.
• Keep candles, matches, lighters and other sources of flame out of reach
of children. Use only safety matches, vibration can ignite other types.
• Make sure cigarettes are put out safely – use metal ashtrays. Avoid
falling asleep with a lit cigarette – never smoke in bed.
• Never leave a hot hob unattended especially when cooking with oil or fat.
• Don’t fit curtains or fabrics over hob burners and don’t dry tea towels
or clothes over a cooker or hob.
• Don’t over-bank solid fuel stoves overnight.
• Be careful when doing ‘hot work’ such as paint stripping, soldering, etc.
Maintenance for safety
• Practice ‘good housekeeping’ in order to reduce fire hazards. Regularly
remove rubbish, oil and debris from all areas, especially the bilge.
Discard oily waste responsibly.
• Create a safe store for goods such as diesel, coal, charcoal, wood, paint,
solvents, adhesives or paraffin and ensure container lids are tight.
• When making changes to your boat i.e. upholstery fabrics, soft furnishings,
foams, thermal insulation and galley surfaces, choose materials that offer
good fire retardant qualities – ask your supplier for assurances.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Twelve steps to protect yourself and your home

Fire Safety Tips

  • Fit smoke alarms on each level in your home. Keep them free from dust and test them once a week. Consider buying a 10-year alarm; otherwise change the batteries in your alarm every year.
  • Make a fire action plan so that everyone in your home knows how to escape if there is a fire.
  • Keep the exits from your home clear so that people can escape if there is a fire.
  • Make sure that everyone in your home can easily find the keys for doors and windows.
  • Get into the habit of closing doors at night. If you want to keep a child’s bedroom dooropen, close the doors to the lounge and kitchen, it may well help save their life if there is a fire.
  • Take extra care in the kitchen – accidents while cooking account for over half of firesin homes. Never leave young children alone in the kitchen.
  • Take extra care when cooking with hot oil. Consider buying a deep-fat fryer which iscontrolled by a thermostat (if you don’t already have one).
  • Don’t leave the TV or other electrical appliances on standby as this could cause a fire. Always switch it off and unplug when it’s not in use.
  • Never leave lit candles in rooms that nobody is in or in rooms where children are on theirown.
  • Make sure candles are in secure holders on a surface that doesn’t burn and are away from any materials that could burn.
  • Keep matches and lighters where children can’t see or reach them.
  • Take special care when you’re tired or when you've been drinking.
  • Make sure cigarettes are stubbed out properly and are disposed of carefully, and
never smoke in bed.
  • Don’t overload electrical sockets. Remember one plug for one socket.