Staying safe and preventing fires in a modern world

Fire Safety

Earlier this year, we launched our #Firewise safety campaign as a way to promote awareness of fire safety to residents and to reduce the potential of fires in their homes.

We want to keep everyone safe. We want residents to feel safe in their homes. And we want to reduce the risk of fires by sharing as much as we can about how to prevent them.

That’s why, as part of Mount Green’s #Firewise campaign, we’ve been sharing lots of information about how to stay safe in your home via our social media channels and resident newsletters, letting you know all about fire safety in communal areas, electrical safety, fire hazards such as candles, and ensuring modern devices like electric scooters are used and stored safely.

It’s also why, in the 2022–23 financial year, we continued to invest in your homes, carrying out £2.3 million worth of improvements to ensure that they meet your needs, and completing many fire safety improvements earlier than planned.

And it’s why we’ve now teamed up with Surrey Fire & Rescue service to keep you safe and bring you the latest tips and information on fire safety in your homes.

We chatted to Phil Stonebanks, Watch Commander and Community Safety Partnership Team Manager about the main causes of fire, what we can do to prevent them, and the challenges caused by a digital world of multiple plugs and chargers!

Here are Phil’s top tips:

🔥 Become part of the Test It Tuesday gang – working smoke alarms save lives, so check your batteries once a week.

🔥 Don’t overload your plug sockets. Plug cube adaptors can get heavy and come off the wall which may cause a spark. We know everyone has lots of things to plug in and charge, so if you need to plug more things in, use a strip adaptor. And please no daisy chaining; adding more strip adaptors on to each other – for obvious reasons this is extremely dangerous.

🔥Smokers, please don’t smoke in bed. But if you do, get in touch with us for some flame-retardant bedding, as well as throws for sofas and armchairs; they’re free of charge and can be washed up to 70 times. And they could just save your life.

🔥 If you need to use a portable fire, please consider an electric one, but if you use a gas one, make sure you have ventilation in the room. We know you don’t want to let the warmth out, particularly in a cost-of-living crisis, but ventilation is really important.

🔥 As we approach wintertime, electric blankets will be back in use. These are generally safe but older ones can cause a risk. If yours is over 10 years old, please replace it. And

when you do store them away again, roll them up as folding can break the wires and cause a hazard.

🔥 Make sure you have a CO2 detector to ensure your home is safe if you have a gas boiler or open fire/wood-burning stove. We give these away free too if you need one.

🔥 Shut doors to kitchens and lounges – the most common areas for fire to break out. Shutting a door can keep a fire out for up to 30 minutes. A fire door can keep fire out for even longer.

🔥 Leave clear paths in your home. Not doing so could prevent you or your pets from escaping and could also be dangerous for fire crews going into a home.

🔥 And do come along to our Open Days to find out more. Children will love to see the fire engines too!

We’re grateful to Phil and his team for their top tips and for working with us at Mount Green to put appropriate safety measures in place to keep residents safe.

Surrey CC also offer online Safe and Well visits, which you can complete in your own time, and are a confidential, simple way to ensure you stay safe in your home. And if the results show you to be vulnerable in any way, the service automatically lets them know to contact you to arrange a visit in person.

Finally, we know that having dementia, hoarding disorder, mental health or other vulnerabilities can increase the risk of fire in the home, so if you need any help or further information, or you think someone you know may be struggling in their home, do let us know.

We’ll be sharing lots more #Firewise information with you over the next few months so keep an eye on our social media channels.