What fire safety building regulations do I need to consider when building?
If you are building an extension or conversion it is important to take into account fire safety not only to meet building regulations but for your own safety. New or altered buildings will have to meet regulations that include means of warning, escape routes in the house and how fire spreads, both internal and external. A good builder will help you meet these standards. Electrical safety is also important when considering fire safety – faulty electrics could lead to a fire so make sure any electrical work done is carried out by a certified, registered electrician.
How can I further fire-proof my home?
You can also go beyond the basic regulations in fire-proofing your home by considering the following options. Certain materials are more resistant to the spread of fire than others for example fire-rated insulation and fire-safe doors and windows are simple considerations that can be included in the building process and help increase your property’s fire safety. You could also use non-combustible, fire-resistant roofing and cladding to help protect the exterior of your house from fire.
What other additions should I have in my house to improve its fire safety?
Making sure that you are prepared in the event of a fire is paramount to the safety of you and your family. Fitting smoke alarms is cheap, easy and effective. Make sure you get smoke alarms for every level of your home and test them regularly to ensure that the batteries are working. You could also consider a fire blanket or extinguisher in a high-risk area such as the kitchen. A visit from your local fire service will offer you other ideas about potential fire hazards within your home and how they can be improved upon.
How can I device an escape route in the event of a fire?
Making an escape route plan ensures that the whole family knows what to do in the event of a fire. The normal entrance to your home is often the best fire escape route, but if something is blocking this exit think about a second escape route and make sure that this is unobstructed at all times. If both routes are blocked, is there a safe place to wait for the fire service? This should be a room with an opening window and one where the door can be blocked by towels, cushions or bedding to slow the spread of fire. Make sure that all of the household knows the plan, explain it thoroughly and run through it if you have to. If you want help devising your own fire escape plan, contact your local fire services.
Finally the best fire-safety is prevention. Get into good fire-safety habits by ensuring that you are careful with putting out cigarettes, never leave candles unattended and take extra care when cooking.