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Fire Safety Week -Bedtime Routine

Monday, 5 October 2009

Could your bedtime routine save your life?

As part one of our strand for National Fire Safety Week - we want to look at your bed time routine and drive home the importance of having one in your home. The Cribbon family was on the show on the 1st of October 2007 talking about the night their family home was destroyed (27th December 2005) we are revisiting with them to find out how that fire changed their lives and improved their fire safety awareness.

Today starts the Smoke Alarm Giveaway. Since we began the giveaway we have given away 10,000 smoke alarms. We are delighted to continue this year with a further 2,500 this week. We will have 500 smoke alarms to give away to day. The lo-call numbers are:

Callers from the Republic of Ireland: 1890 929 899

Callers from Northern Ireland: 0845 521 4280

It's Fire Safety week from 5th until the 9th October, It is a nationwide campaign run in cooperation with Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Services we want to raise awareness about the dangers of fires.

Bedtime Routine: - Night-time safety check

To help prevent a fire at night and to ensure that you can escape if necessary you should include a night-time safety check of your home.

A night-time safety check is a systematic tour around your home to eliminate any possible sources of fire and to ensure that, should the need arise; you will be able to escape in the least amount of time. It should include ensuring that:

. All unnecessary electrical appliances are unplugged.
. All candles are properly extinguished.
. Spark guards and fireguards are placed in front of open fires.
. All doors in the home are closed to reduce the spread of fire!
. All escape routes are clear of obstructions.
. Where keys are needed to open doors that they are in the locks to avoid wasting time and breathe looking for them.
. You have a phone and if possible a torch in your room.

Correct fitting, use and upkeep of your smoke alarm

How to use them?
When fitting the batteries, open up the smoke alarm and having a look inside to familiarize yourself with the workings of the alarm.

How many you should have?
One smoke alarm per room (except bathroom, kitchen and garage). Or at least one smoke alarm for each level/floor of your home.

Where to place them in the home?
On the ceiling as close to the centre of the room as possible.
Keep in mind your ability to hear the smoke alarm at night with the door closed.

How to check them?
There is button that you press to make sure the alarm and battery are working.

What is the main purpose of the Smoke Alarm?
The purpose of a Smoke Alarm is to give an early warning of an outbreak of fire! It is vital that you and your family know exactly what to do when the Smoke Alarm activates. (We will go into this further on Wednesday with part 2 - What to do in an emergency.)
Smoke Alarms are designed to give you an early warning of a fire. 82% of fires resulting in fatalities had no working Smoke Alarm.
Are there many different types of smoke alarms?

There are 2 types of Smoke Alarm "Ionisation" and "Optical"

Ionisation Smoke Alarm
The cheapest and most common type. Very sensitive to small particles of smoke from "flaming" fires like chip pans. Will detect this type of fire before the smoke gets too thick.
Optical Smoke Alarm
More expensive type but more effective at detecting larger particles from "slow burning" fires such as smouldering foam or P.V.C. wiring

Facts on Smoke Alarms:
. On average 46 people die in fires nationally every year. Tragically most of these deaths could have been prevented if a working smoke alarm had been present in the home.
. A national survey, carried out recently, on smoke alarm ownership found that there are over 300,000 households who do not have any smoke alarms installed!
. Smoke Alarms do not "prevent" fires!
. Most fires happen at night when people are asleep and smoke does not always wake people up but can actually put them into a deeper sleep.
. Smoke Alarms do not "put out" fires!
. Smoke inhalation, not heat or flames, causes the majority of fire deaths and the smoke given off by some furnishing materials can kill very quickly.
. 10 year smoke alarms are available as ionisation or optical alarms and are fitted with a long life lithium battery or a sealed power pack that lasts for 10 years.

Statistics from The Press Office for the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government for 2007 state:

. "The Fire Brigade attended 56,188 incidents (excluding ambulance calls) of these, 34,669 were fires.
. In the last 10 years 438 people have been killed as the result of a fire
. There were 41 fatalities in 2007. 14F/27M. 66% Male, 34% Female. 50% of the fatalities were aged 65 or over
. 44% of these fatalities were in homes with NO smoke alarms
. 8 of the 41 fatalities were in homes where smoke alarms were present but not working."
"Routine Fire Safety Checks should only take a couple of minutes but it could mean the difference between Life and Death.
Walk around your house with a view to keeping your home safe and secure.

. Unplug all unnecessary electrical appliances.
. Turn off all unnecessary gas appliances.
. Make sure all candles and naked flames are extinguished.
. Place a sparkguard in front of any open fire.
. Empty all ashtrays.
. Are all escape routes completely clear of obstructions?
. Close all doors to reduce the spread of fire and smoke.

On average 46 people die each year in FIRES in this country.

. Smoking when tired
. Leaving burning candles unattended
. Leaving young children unattended
. Leaving matches and lighters where children can get them.
. Leaving chip pans, frying pans, etc unattended
. Standing too close to fires, heaters, etc
. Using faulty electrical appliances
. Overloading sockets

Make sure to:
. Have your chimney cleaned at least once a year
. Use a sparkguard with open fires
. Use proper holders when burning candles
. Keep ashtrays empty when not in use
. Have a suitable fire extinguisher and fire blanket in your kitchen
. Have faulty electrical appliances repaired or replaced immediately
. Close all doors at night time
. Carry out a routine fire safety check before going to bed

Smoke Alarms are designed to give you an early warning of a fire. 82% of fires resulting in fatalities had no working Smoke Alarm.

Make sure to:
. Have at least one Smoke Alarm (on the ceiling) on every level in your home
. Test your smoke alarms at least once a week
. Change the batteries every year
. When the warning beep sounds change the battery immediately"

We will have 500 smoke alarms to give away to day. The lo-call numbers are:

Callers from the Republic of Ireland: 1890 929 899

Callers from Northern Ireland: 0845 521 4280

Lines will be open today from 4.15pm until 6pm.