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Online safe and well check

Complete our online check to find out if you are fully aware of the fire hazards which commonly exist throughout the home. The check also highlights key areas to help prevent ill health and harm to people in our communities.

Your safety

  • If you don’t have a working smoke alarm get one, fit it and make someone in your house responsible for testing your smoke alarm each week.
  • They are cheap, easy to get hold of and easy to fit.
  • Smoke alarms are the best and easiest way to alert you to the danger of fire, giving you and your family precious time to escape.
  • You are four times more likely to die in a fire at home if you do not have a working smoke alarm?

Read more information on smoke alarms

Be a smoke alarm champion

  • Get into the routine of pushing the button to check your smoke alarm works every week. You could also help make family, friends and neighbours safer by encouraging them to test theirs as well.

Could you test someone else’s?

  • Is there a relative, friend or neighbour who has difficulty testing or reaching their smoke alarms? You could help to make that person safer by testing their smoke alarms for them once a week.

A fire escape plan is your households plan on how they will leave the house in the event of a fire:

  • You should also make a fire escape plan as it can be difficult to think clearly in an emergency.
  • Make your fire escape plan together so that everyone knows what to do
  • Make sure everyone knows where the door and window keys are kept and keep the keys in the correct place at all times.

Read advice on how to make an escape plan

  • Practice your plan with everyone in your household.
  • Remind everyone of what to do on a regular basis in the event of a fire.
  • You could put up a reminder of what to do in a fire somewhere where it will be seen regularly.
  • Re-evaluate your escape plan if your circumstances change.

Keep your escape routes and exits clear. This will improve your ability to escape from your home in an emergency.

  • Items on stairs are a potential trip hazard. Keep them clear.
  • Keep landings and hallways free from excess items, do not use them as a store
  • Always keep all escape routes and exits clear. You may need to escape quickly.
  • Items on stairs are a potential trip hazard. Keep them clear.

 

Get into the habit of completing a bedtime check:

  • Close inside doors at night to stop a fire from spreading.
  • Check that the cooker is turned off.
  • Turn off and unplug electrical appliances. Unless they are meant to be left on e.g. your freezer.
  • Turn heaters off and put up fireguards.
  • Make sure exits are clear of obstacles and check that door and window keys are in the right place.

Do you?

  • Close inside doors at night to stop a fire from spreading.
  • Check that the cooker is turned off.
  • Turn off and unplug electrical appliances. Unless they are meant to be left on e.g. your freezer. Turn heaters off and put up fireguards.
  • Make sure exits are clear of obstacles and check that door and window keys are in the right place.
  • Get into the habit of testing your carbon monoxide alarm once a week, when you test your smoke alarm
  • Always have your appliances installed and regularly serviced by professionals.

 

Read further advice on carbon monoxide

  • If you have an open fire, fuel burning stove or gas appliances in your home fit a carbon monoxide alarm. And test it weekly.
  • Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas. It has no smell or taste meaning you could be inhaling it without realising it.
  • Always have your appliances installed and regularly serviced by professionals.

Read further advice on carbon monoxide

  • Take extra care when deep-fat frying or cooking with oil. Hot oil can catch fire easily. Use a thermostat controlled deep-fat fryer which will make sure the fat doesn’t get too hot.
  • Dry the food before you put it in oil.
  • If the oil starts to smoke it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave to cool
  • If it catches fire
    • Don’t move it because it will be very hot.
    • If it is safe to do so - turn off the heat. Never lean over the pan to reach the controls.
    • Never use water on chip pan fires as this will cause a fire ball.

Get out, stay out, call 999.

Cooking with oil can be dangerous and pans with small amounts of oil will catch fire more quickly

  • If the oil starts to smoke it’s too hot. Turn of the heat and leave to cool
  • If it catches fire
    • Don’t move it because it will be very hot.
    • If it is safe to do so - turn off the heat. Never lean over the pan to reach the controls.
    • Never use water on chip pan fires as this will cause a fire ball.

Get out, stay out, Call 999.

It’s easy to leave the cooking unattended if the phone goes or the doorbell rings, when we are being distracted by children, family of friends or even whilst we do other jobs around the home.

  • Don’t get distracted when you are cooking. Turn off or turn down the heat if you have to leave the cooking unattended for a short period of time.
  • More than 50 per cent of accidental fires at home are started by cooking. Many of these start when we get distracted or leave the cooking unattended.
  • Consider using your oven timer.

Read further advice on cooking safety

  • It’s easy to get distracted when you are cooking. Turn off or turn down the heat if you have to leave the cooking unattended for a short period of time.
  • Cleaning the oven may not be much fun but a build-up of fat, crumbs or grease can easily catch fire!
  • Always clean the grill pan after cooking.
  • A build-up of fat, crumbs or grease can easily catch fire, clean your oven and grill pan regularly.
  • Chimney’s need to be swept at least once a year including flues for wood burning stoves.
  • You may need to get it swept more frequently if you burn wood.

Need a chimney sweep?

  • You may need to get it swept more frequently if you burn wood. 
  • Keep heaters away from furniture, bedding, or curtains.
  • Turn off portable heaters before going to bed at night
  • Choose an appliance that meets the British or European safety standard
  • Don’t air or dry clothing on heaters.
  • Don’t stand or sit too close, your clothing may melt or ignite.
  • Never use flammable adhesives, cleaning fluids or aerosol sprays near a heater. Remember that fumes given off from some products are heavier than air and will travel some distance.

Read more advice on using a portable heater.

  • It only takes one carelessly discarded cigarette to start a fatal fire in your home.
  • Avoid the danger of a fire starting inside the home by only smoking outside.
  • Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully.  Put them right out!
  • Don't leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended. They can easily overbalance as they burn down, land on a carpet or newspaper and start a fire.
  • Use a proper, heavy ashtray which can't tip over easily and is made of a material that won't burn.
  • If you need to lie down, don't light up. You could easily doze off and set your bed or sofa on fire.

Read more advice on smoking fire safety.

Place them:

  • Firmly in a proper holder so they don’t fall over. The candle should be standing straight up.
  • On a heat-resistant surface. Be especially careful with night lights and tea lights. These get hot enough to melt plastic such as the top of a TV and the side of a bath tub.

Never leave them unattended.

  • Make sure you put them out before you leave a room and before you go to bed.
  • Use a snuffer or a spoon to put them out. Blowing them can send sparks and hot wax flying.

Read more advice on candle safety.

  • Always switch appliances off at the plug when not in use.
  • Never leave them on at night. Unless they are designed to be left on, like freezers.
  • Don’t leave items on charge or plugged in overnight or whilst you are out of the house.
  • Never leave chargers plugged in and turned on when they are not in use.
  • Don’t leave items on charge for long periods.
  • Only use the charger supplied by the manufacturer. Aftermarket products may not conform to European Safety Standards and could cause a fire.
  • Look out for the CE mark that indicates chargers comply with European Safety standards.
  • Laptops need plenty of ventilation so take care when using them near furnishings.

Read more advice on electrical safety.

Electric blankets are perfectly safe to use provided they are in good condition and have the necessary overheating safeguards incorporated into the design.

  • Check you electric blanket regularly and if it has any of the following faults we recommend that you do not use it and replace it immediately.
    • Wear and tear
    • Scorch marks
    • Loose connections or any damage to the flex
    • The elements are loose within the blanket, touching or crossing over.
  • If the blanket is more than 10 years old we recommend that you do not use it.
  • Avoid drinking in bed and never use a hot water bottle.

We offer free electric blanket testing during October. 

If you have trouble moving around, consider fitting an intercom which will allow you to alert someone else in the house in the event of an emergency.

We offer free Safer and Well-being visits. Firefighters or a member of our Home and Community Safety Team could visit your home to complete a Safer and Wellbeing check with you. They will discuss your escape plan with you and are able to provide you with advice on fire safety. If required, they can fit ten year smoke alarms in your home.

Call our Community Safety Helpline on 08000 325999 or email community.safety@oxfordshire.gov.uk to request a visit.

Information about assistive technology alarms and helpful gadgets

Request a safer and wellbeing visit. This is a totally free service offered by Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service. If you would like us to, we will visit you in your home to see what we can do to make you safer. We will have a chat with you around improving your health and wellbeing.

When we visit we can fit free smoke alarms and offer advice to make you and your family safer at home. Call the Community Safety Helpline on 08000 325999 or email community.safety@oxfordshire.gov.ukto request a visit.

Oxfordshire County Councils sensory impairments team can advise and support people of all ages with sight difficulties. The team are specially trained and will offer advice and support to people of all ages.

If you have a hearing difficulty you may be able get a special smoke alarm from Oxfordshire County Council's Hearing Impairment Team.

Read more to find out what they could do for you.

Telephone: 01865 894935
Fax: 01865 894930
Email: visual.impairment@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Telephone: 01865 894925
Fax: 01865 783153
Email: hearing.impairment@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Textphone: 030 300 30 55 

Your wellbeing

The Emergency Planning Team has created a handy 'Are You Ready?' booklet (pdf format, 1.7Mb) to help you prepare and cope with emergencies.

Power cuts and loss of other utilities can happen at any time and with little warning. You may benefit from joining the utility company priority care registers.

Who’s eligible?

  • Elderly
  • Disabled
  • Have a child under the age of 5
  • If you use specialist medical equipment.

Read further information about priority care registers

Take a look at the Oxfordshire Falls Service website for information and advice

 

Helpline 0800 107 00 44 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Have you considered stopping smoking?

It can be a bit tricky to understand and remember how much alcohol is in drinks, and how this can affect our health.

  • Men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week.
  • Spread your drinking over three days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week.
  • If you want to cut down how much you’re drinking, a good way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days each week.

For further advice visit

Sometimes people who have a problem don’t think they have or refuse to believe that they are addicted or dependent. 

For further advice visit

There’s lots of tips and advice on the change4life website and the Live Well pages on the NHS Choices website.

Building activity into your day keeps your heart healthy, reduces your risk of serious illness and strengthens muscles and bones. It can also be a great way of reducing your stress levels and lifting your mood if you’re feeling down.