• It is vital that residents check their smoke alarms regularly and ensure they are in the right place. One of the most common reasons a smoke alarm may fail to activate was because the fire was outside its range. 
  • If there is a fire in your home alert all the people in your flat and leave, closing doors behind you.
  • Follow the escape plan for your building.
  • Always use stairs, not the lift and call 999 as soon as you are in a safe place.
  • If your planned escape route is too dangerous because stairs and hallways are full of smoke, call 999 and stay in the safest room - keep doors closed and use towels or bedding to block the smoke at the bottom of the door.
  • If there is a fire in another flat in the building, you are usually safest in your own flat unless you are affected by heat or smoke.
  • If there is a fire, never assume that someone else has called 999 - make the call yourself. This is especially important if you are a neighbour or passer by hearing the alarm, as the occupants of a house affected by fire can very quickly become unconscious due to the effects of smoke and heat.
  • A fire escape plan should be the fist consideration combined with smoke alarms.
  • Any furniture should be fire retardant and meet the furniture regulations.
  • Any highly flammable surfaces should be removed, flock wallpaper and polystyrene tiles are a couple of examples.
  • The electric wiring system should be checked by an electrician at regular intervals and all sockets given a visual inspection for signs of burning or misuse.
  • If there are likely to be smokers in the house ensure there are plenty of ash trays which need to be cleaned and the contents disposed of at the end of each day.
  • Any open fires should be protected with fire guards and never dry washing on then.
  • Fire safety in the kitchen, especially pans being left unattended and frying pans if required treat with great caution


  • Always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions on your candles.
  • Always leave at least 100 mm between candles when burning.
  • Never burn a candle right down. Extinguish it before it burns into the holder or container. This creates less risk of the candle overheating.
  • trim the wick before relighting.
  • Never touch or move a burning candle.
  • If a candle will not go out easily using a 'snuffer', cover it with a damp cloth.
  • Make sure that the candleholder is not cracked before lighting a candle.
  • Keep the candle free of matches, etc, as they can create a flare.
  • Clean the candleholder (by washing with hot water) to remove any wax or wicks before putting in a new candle.
  • Never burn candles designed for outdoor use (eg citronella candles designed to repel insects in the garden) indoors.

Carbon Monoxide

  • Do have your gas appliances checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer or an OFTEC registered engineer if an oil appliance. Make sure that you check their ID card, and ensure that they are qualified to work on your appliance: you can find a list on the back of their card identifying whether they are suitably qualified to work on your appliances;
  • Do fit a CO detector with an audible alarm, but remember a CO Alarm will only warn you of Carbon Monoxide not the presence of other toxic fumes (this is especially important in the case of Oil fired appliances as oil appears to produce less CO but higher levels of other toxins);
  • Do have your chimney checked and swept annually;
  • Be aware of external flues close to windows, whether yours or your neighbours - make sure fumes are not blowing in from outside.
  • Do not run your car even if the garage door to the outside is open. Fumes can build up very quickly in the garage and living area of your home. This advice applies to any engine in an enclosed space, for example, a generator;
  • Do not use a gas oven to heat your home, even for a short time;
  • Do not use a charcoal grill indoors;
  • Do not cover air-bricks. These are present for ventilation, if the appliances in your home don’t have enough air they will produce Carbon Monoxide;
  • Do not ignore symptoms, particularly if more than one person is feeling them. You could lose consciousness and die if you do nothing.


All furniture that meets the 1988 Furniture Regulations will have a permanent label attached to it showing that it has passed all the required tests. The labels will look as above. The label could be attached to any external surface of your piece of furniture. On armchairs and sofas with removable cushions manufacturers often put the label under the cushions. The label will be firmly attached so that it cannot be removed without either damaging the furniture or the label. Each piece of furniture will have a label attached to it so if you have a three-piece suite each chair or sofa will have its own label. Any new furniture you buy will have a display label as well as a permanent label, so you can clearly see what tests the furniture has passed.

External Resources