Home Fire Safety – Advice to Households from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service provides home fire safety advice to keep you safe at home.  If you are concerning about your fire safety, or the fire safety of others, please visit our website – www.manchesterfire.gov.uk to complete an online assessment for personalised advice or to find out if you are eligible for a Home Fire Safety Assessment

Fire and Rescue Services know that your health, daily activities, and home environment all impact on your risk of having a fire and your ability to escape if a fire starts.  The Home Fire Safety Assessments consider all of these things so that the fire safety advice we give is right for you.

There are plenty of ways to keep you and your household safe from the risk in your home.  Having a Home Fire Safety Assessment, staying well and following the advice will help you to reduce the risks and stay safe.

Smoke Alarms

  • You should have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home.
  • Test your smoke alarms weekly
  • Gently vacuum your smoke alarms every 3 months and wipe over with a cloth to remove any dust.
  • Change your batteries once a year (unless you have a ten year alarm)
  • Replace the whole unit every ten years
  • Talk to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue about the types of smoke alarms that are available

Also, remember to fit a carbon monoxide (CO) detector in your homes.

Cooking and Kitchen Safety

  • Never leaving cooking unattended
  • Never fill a pan more than one third full of fat or oil
  • Never cook if you have taken medication, drugs or alcohol that may make you tired or drowsy
  • Never use oxygen equipment whilst cooking or near a naked flame
  • If clothes catch fire, do not run.  Remember ‘STOP, DROP and ROLL’
  • Avoid the use of chip pans or deep frying using a pan of oil or fat on the hob.  Try oven alternatives or use a thermostatically controller fryer
  • Keep ovens, hobs, grills, toasters and microwaves clean.  Fat, crumbs and grease can easily catch fire
  • Keep electrical leads, tea towels, paper, curtains and other items away from cookers, grills and toasters
  • Take care if you are wearing loose clothing, such as a sari or nightgown, as they can catch fire easily
  • Heat detectors are available to fit in your kitchen, to provide an early warning of fire.

If a pan catches fire:

  1. Do not tackle the fire yourself and never throw water over it
  2. Turn of the heat – but only if it is safe to do so
  3. Leave the room. Close the door and call 999


  • Quitting smoking or having a smoke-free home are the best ways to reduce a smoking related fire at home
  • Stub your smoking material out properly and dispose of it carefully
  • Use a heavy wide bottomed ashtray
  • Never smoke in bed.  It is easy to fall asleep with a cigarette burning
  • Never smoke if you have taken medication, drugs or alcohol that make you tired or drowsy
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children
  • Never smoke, or let someone else smoke in the same room as you, when medical oxygen equipment is being use.
  • Never smoke if you, or anyone near you, are using emollient creams or products in contact with fabric, clothes, dressings or bedding.  This includes paraffin based and paraffin free products.
  • Only buy legally manufactured cigarettes.

Candle Safety

  • Try using an LED (Light emitting diode) candle instead
  • Always use candle holders – never put tea lights on plastic surfaces such as TV’s and baths.
  • Never burn candles within reach of children and pets
  • Never leave a lit candle unattended.  Extinguish candles properly
  • Keep candles out of draughts and away from curtains and other fabrics

Electrical Safety

  • Only buy electrical goods that have a British UKCA or European safety mark CE
  • Use the right fuse in the plug of your devices or appliances, to prevent overheating
  • Follow the manufacturers instructions, use the correct charger and ensure it has a CE mark, when charging electrical devices.
  • Never use electrical appliances, such as tumble dryers, washing machines or dishwashers, when you go out or when you go to bed.
  • Keep to one plug per socket.  If you need to use a plug adaptor do not overload it with devices that add upto more than 13 AMPS of power.
  • Check cable for damage and do not run cables under rugs or carpets
  • Never overcharge electrical devices or leave them charging when you go to bed

Register electrical appliances with the manufacturers or at registermyapplicance.org.uk to receive any updates or safety information, or visit electricalsafetyfirst.org/guidance for more information.

Fires and Heaters

  • Never sit too close to fires or heaters – your clothing or chair could catch fire.  Sit at least 1 metre (3 feet( away
  • Use a fireguard particularly in homes with open fires or where there are children or pets
  • Keep heaters away from curtains and furniture
  • Make sure that fires are out or switched off before going to bed or leaving the property.
  • Never use heaters for drying clothes
  • Make sure heaters and fires are serviced regularly and are in good working order.  Make sure they are clean before use.

Preventing Deliberate Fires and Crimes

  • Wheelie bins can be used as a target for deliberate fire setting.  Keep them in a secure place and, if possible, at least 1 metre (3 feet) away from your property
  • Only put the bin out when it is due for collection and put it away as soon as possible after collection
  • Never leave out any loose refuse or other materials that could be used to start deliberate fires on your property.  Ensure they are stored in a secured area.
  • Report any incidents or threats of deliberate fire setting or crime to the police.  In the event of an emergency call 999.
  • If you feel at risk of deliberate fire setting, you can also contact Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service for advice.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has a free, confidential programme offering education and advice to anyone aged 17 years and under, who may be exhibiting signs of fire setting behaviour.  To refer someone to us telephone 0800 555 815.

Escape Planning

  • Make an escape plan that everyone in the household understands
  • In the event of a fire get everyone together if possible.  Escape through your nearest exit, if safe to do so, Call 999 and stay out of the property.
  • If your escape routes are blocked get everyone into a safe room, preferably with a window.  Shut the door and call 999
  • Only try and escape through a window if you have no other option, your escape route is blocked and you are on the ground or first floor (under 3 metres in height).  If you are higher up, wait to be rescued by Firefighters.
  • If you live in a block of lats, check with you landlord to find out the emergency arrangements for your building.

Bedtime Checklist

  • Put candles and cigarettes out properly
  • Check your cooker is turned off
  • Turn fires and heaters off and put up fireguards
  • Make sure exits are kept clear
  • Turn off the washing machine, dishwasher and tumble dryer
  • Turn off and unplug electrical appliances unless they are designed to be left on – like your fridge or freezer.
  • Keep door and window keys in a safe place, away from the door itself, but where you would be able to reach them on your escape route.  Tell members of your household where they are.
  • Close inside doors at night to stop a fire from spreading
  • Take your mobile phone to bed with you in case of emergencies.

Start Well, Live Well, Age Well

Smoking, drug and alcohol use, physical and mental health problems or a poorly maintained home can all increase your risks of having a fire.  Looking after you wellbeing and making positive choices will reduce the risk and help you to main health and independence.

For further advice visit nhs.uk/live-well

The fire safety advice is for all communities, regardless of race, faith, age, sexual orientation, disability or gender identity.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Services – Saving lives, protecting communities, working together

Visit Manchesterfire.gov.uk

Follow @manchesterfire on Instagram, linkedin, twitter and facebook.

If you do not have access to the internet, call 0800 555815