Avoid fire risks

Tiredness, exhaustion and other influences can lead to lapses in concentration. In a home this can have devastating consequences when surrounded by potential fire sources and risks. You should never attempt to cook if you are tired or have been drinking and you should never leave pans unattended when cooking. If you have to smoke indoors, never leave a lit cigarette or pipe unattended and always use deep ashtrays so that they cannot roll out. If you know someone who you think may have a higher risk of having a fire, or trouble escaping a fire, seek specialist advice from your local Fire Brigade. Prevention is better than cure

Fit smoke alarms and Test them regularly

Working smoke alarms are essential as they provide vital early warning and allow extra time to escape if there is a fire. They will also alert neighbours to the danger of fire. Every home should have at least one working smoke alarm per floor.

Read moe about smoke alarms

Be prepared By making an escape plan

Make sure you know what to do if you have a fire. Make an escape plan and practise it regularly. This will make sure everyone, especially those with young children, know what to do in the event of a fire. Do you live in a purpose-Built maisonette or block of flats? If so, your plan needs to be different. If the fire is in your flat get out, stay out and call 999. If there is a fire elsewhere in the building you are usually safer staying in your own flat unless heat or smoke is directly affecting you or you have been told to leave by a fire fighter.

Read more about planning a safe escape from a fire


The most common cause of fire death in the home is smoking. The fires caused by smoking materials (including cigarettes, roll-ups, cigars and pipe tobacco) result in more deaths than any other type of fire.

  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Don’t smoke in a soft chair or sofa, if you think you may fall asleep.
  • Take extra care when you’re tired, taking prescription drugs, or if you’ve been drinking alcohol as this could lead to carelessness.
  • Use a proper ashtray which can’t tip over and is made of a material that won’t burn. Make sure you have enough ashtrays to avoid any over ow. Don’t leave a lit cigarette, cigar, or pipe lying around. Smoking materials can easily fall and cause a fire.
  • Stub cigarettes out properly and always dispose of them carefully. Make sure smoking materials are cold before emptying ashtrays. Preferably, wet them before throwing into a bin.
  • Only smoke legally manufactured cigarettes. Counterfeit cigarettes are more likely to cause fires because of the way they are made.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach, and always buy child resistant lighters.
  • Never smoke if you use medical oxygen, or an air ow pressure relief mattress.
  • If you use paraf n-based emollient creams, ask for non- ammable alternatives instead.
  • Consider additional specialist equipment such as re retardant bedding or nightwear.


More fires and fire injuries are caused by carelessness in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home.

Preventing cooking fires

  • Avoid leaving cooking unattended.
  • If you have to leave the kitchen whilst cooking, it’s safer to take pans off the heat and turn off the hob and/or grill.
  • Don’t cook if you are tired, have been drinking alcohol or taking medication that might make you drowsy.
  • Loose clothing can easily catch re – take care not to lean over a hot hob and keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
  • Be careful to keep the oven, hob, cooker hood and grill clean, and in good working order. A build up of fat and grease can ignite and cause a fire.
  • Use spark devices to light gas cookers. They are much safer than matches or lighters as they don’t have a naked flame.
  • Double check the cooker and hob are turned off when you’ve nished cooking.
  • Check toasters are clean and placed away from anything that can catch fire.
  • Never put anything metal in the microwave.
  • Never use a BBQ indoors or on a balcony. Any fuel that burns or smoulders can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Supervise children and pets in the kitchen at all times. Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach.

If a pan catches fire

  • Don’t tackle the fire yourself and don’t attempt to move the pan.
  • Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so.
  • Never throw water over a re as it could create a fireball.
  • Leave the room, close the door, shout a warning to others and call the re brigade by dialling 999.

Deep fat frying

  • Take care when cooking with hot oil – it can easily overheat and catch fire.
  • Never fill a pan more than one third full of fat or oil.
  • Make sure food is dry before putting it in hot oil.
  • If the oil starts to smoke, it’s too hot. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool.
  • Use an electronic deep fat fryer if possible – they have thermostats to control the temperature.

Candles and naked flames

Candles, incense and oil burners are one of the biggest causes of re within homes. Keep an eye on these items to keep you and your home safe.

Always follow this advice

  • These items should be held firmly in a heat resistant holder, on a stable surface where they won’t be knocked over.
  • Tea lights can melt through plastic surfaces like a TV or bath.
  • Keep these items away from materials that may catch re such as curtains, furniture, clothes and hair.
  • To avoid accidents, keep these items away from children and pets.
  • Put these items out when you leave the room and especially before bed.

Portable heaters and open fires

It’s important to stay safe while heating your home – each year several res and deaths are caused by heaters being placed too close to ammable materials. You should also be aware of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Portable heaters and fires

  • Secure heaters against a wall to stop them falling over, or fit wall-mounted heaters.
  • Keep heaters well away from clothes, curtains and furniture.
  • Always sit at least one metre away from a heater as it could set light to your clothes or chair, especially if you fall asleep.
  • Always turn off your heater and allow it to cool before moving it.
  • Change gas heater cylinders in the open air, or open windows and doors if you have to change them indoors.
  • Store spare cylinders upright and outside whenever possible. Never store them in basements, under stairs or in cupboards containing electric meters or equipment.
  • If you are using gas, paraffin, or bioethanol (bio) fuel heaters make sure the area is well ventilated.
  • When using bio-fuel always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions. Keep containers stored safely away from the burner.
  • Fireboxes and containers should always be placed on a stable surface.
  • Never add fuel to a burning re, or attempt to re ll a firebox fuel container that is still hot.

Read more about electrical safety in the home

open fires and log Burners

  • Keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained. Always have your chimney swept by a specialist (at least once a year for coal, twice if burning logs).
  • Make sure you use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks and hot embers.
  • Before you go to bed, make sure res are under control and guarded, or better still put out.
  • Store logs away from burners. Radiated heat can cause them to burn.

Read more about avoiding fires in your chimney


Electrical fires are common, but many can be easily avoided by following some simple actions.

Prevent electrical fires

  • Don’t use imitation electrical chargers as they may be unsafe. It is best to use the charger that came with your phone or mobile device.
  • Make sure electrical appliances have a British or European safety mark when you buy them.
  • Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order.
  • Unplugging appliances and chargers when you are not using them or when you go to bed helps reduce the risk of fire.
  • Hair straighteners can get extremely hot. Always switch them off and leave them to cool on a heatproof surface.
  • For plugs that do not come tted to the appliance, always check that you’re using the right fuse. For example – lamps, televisions, videos, computers, blenders, fridges, freezers and power drills generally need 3 amp fuses but washing machines, dishwashers, microwaves, kettles, toasters and irons generally need 13 amp fuses.
  • Keep to one plug per socket. High powered appliances, such as washing machines, should have a single socket to themselves.
  • If you have to use an adaptor, use a fused ‘in line’ type. The adaptor or extension lead will have a limit of how much power it can safely provide so be careful not to overload it by using extra plug-in adaptors or high current appliances e.g. electric heaters.
  • If using a cable drum extension lead, it should be completely unwound to avoid overheating.
  • Remember that scorch marks, flickering lights, hot plugs and sockets, fuses that blow or circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reasons could be signs of loose or dangerous wiring. If in doubt ask a qualified electrician to check your wiring.

Using an electric blanket

  • Store electric blankets at, rolled up or loosely folded to prevent damaging the internal wiring.
  • Unplug blankets before you get into bed, unless it has a thermostat control for safe all-night use.
  • Never use an electric blanket if you have an air ow pressure relief mattress, or use paraf n based emollient creams. Ask for non- ammable alternatives instead.
  • Do not buy second-hand electric blankets.
  • Check regularly for wear and tear and replace your electric blanket every 10 years.

If you’re having trouble paying your energy bills don’t use candles and naked ames as a substitute for heating and lighting. Your electric or gas supplier may be able to provide you with free or subsidised energy ef ciency measures, such as insulation, or a discount on your bill. Contact them to nd out if you qualify.

Read more about electrical safety in the home and buying electrical chargers.

Smoke alarms

Working smoke alarms are essential as they provide vital early warning and allow extra time to escape if there is a fire. They can also alert neighbours to the danger of fire. Every home should have at least one working smoke alarm per floor.

Choosing and fitting your smoke alarm

  • Smoke alarms are affordable and easy to install. They are available from DIY and electrical shops, and most high street supermarkets.
  • Make sure any alarm you buy is marked with a current British Standards or European (CE) safety mark, which shows the alarm is approved and safe.
  • Fit smoke alarms on every level of your home on a ceiling or high up on a wall, if the instructions state it is suitable for wall mounting. Make sure you cover every room containing a re risk.
  • If you have dif culty leaving the house quickly, get ahead by tting extra smoke alarms. Linked alarms will alert you no matter where you are in your home.
  • Fit your smoke alarm away from kitchens or bathrooms as steam can damage the alarm, or set it off by mistake.
  • Consider installing a smoke alarm with a 10 year battery. They are slightly more expensive, but you save on the cost of replacing batteries.
  • Strobe light and vibrating-pad alarms are available for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Contact: Action on Hearing Loss Information Line on 0808 808 0123 or textphone 0808 808 9000.

Making sure your smoke alarm works

  • Just fitting a smoke alarm isn’t enough, once you have one it is vital that you test it regularly to make sure it is working.
  • Test your smoke alarm every week.
  • Change the battery when the low battery warning operates.
  • Never disconnect or take the batteries out of your alarm if it goes off by mistake.
  • Do not try to remove batteries in 10 year smoke alarms as they cannot be removed or replaced and doing so will damage the smoke alarm. If your 10 year smoke alarm stops working, you will need to replace it.

Other types of detection

  • Mains-powered alarms, which are powered by your home power supply should be installed by a quali ed electrician. Some battery/mains detectors can be linked, so that when one alarm detects a fire they all go off together.
  • Where a Telecare system is tted, consider linking it to smoke alarms.
  • In some circumstances automatic fire suppression systems such as sprinklers may be needed. If in doubt, seek specialist advice.
  • As well as fitting a smoke alarm you may also consider tting a heat detector. These are designed for use in the kitchen and will go off when a certain temperature is met or when the temperature in a room rises at a certain rate. They are not meant to replace smoke alarms, but using a combination of the two can provide maximum protection against the dangers of fire in the home. You may need additional alarms to cover all areas of risk.

disposal of smoke alarms

  • Smoke alarms fall under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations and so should not be thrown out in general rubbish.
  • If you need to dispose of an old smoke alarm: Take it to your local rubbish/recycling centre.
  • Arrange for your local council to collect the equipment. Some local authorities provide a free collection service and others charge a fee.
  • Arrange for an electrical retailer delivering new equipment to take away the old alarm.

Read moe about smoke alarms


Make an escape plan and practise it regularly to make sure everyone knows how to escape. If you live in a purpose-built maisonettes or block of flats of any height, your escape plan needs to be different from those in other types of home.

Making an escape plan

  • The best route is the normal way in and out of your home.
  • Plan for a second route in case the rst one is blocked.
  • Keep door and window keys where everyone you live with can find them.
  • If anyone in the home is slow to react or has mobility issues, have an escape plan that is tailored to suit their need and practice it regularly. For example, ensure mobility aids and methods of calling for help are close to hand in case they are needed to assist with an escape.
  • Make sure the way in and out of your home is kept clear of anything that may slow down your escape.
  • Review your plan if your circumstances change. If you need support or advice with this, contact your local Fire Brigade.
  • Keep valuable documents in a metal fire-proof box so that you know they will be safe if there is a fire.

What to do if there is a fire in your home

  • If your smoke alarm goes off, never assume it is a false alarm.
  • Shout ‘FIRE’ to alert others in the home.
  • Don’t waste time investigating what’s happened or rescuing valuables.
  • Don’t put yourself and others in danger by tackling res yourself.
  • Keep calm and get out, closing doors behind you to slow down the spread of re and smoke.

What to do if your escape is blocked

  • If you can’t get out, nd a safe room away from fire, ideally one with a window that opens and access to a phone.
  • Close the door and put bedding or any soft materials around the bottom of the door to block the smoke, then open the window and call “HELP, FIRE”. If you have a phone with you, call 999 and ask for the re brigade. Be ready to describe where you are and the quickest way to reach you.
  • If you’re on the ground or first oor, you may be able to escape through a window. Use soft materials to cushion your fall and lower yourself down carefully. Don’t jump.

Don’t forget, if there is a fire inside your home – get out, stay out and call 999 – don’t try to tackle the fire yourself.

Tempest Restoration 24/7 service


A. We aim to be on the scene as soon as we can. With technicians located acrosss the UK, you are never too far away from the expert help of Tempest Restoration. The longer you delay after your property has been affected by fire, the worse the damage will be. From the moment of arrival on site, we will begin the decontamination process. We work around the clock to ensure that fire damage and your losses are kept to a minimum. We aim to safely return your business to normal, as quickly as possible.

A. Damage caused by fire may look superficial but its the effects on materials that are not visible that can have lasting consequences to health and to the structure of a building. Potential hazards include asbestos and lead among others. Your home is full of porous materials and smoke can penetrate these materials beyond what is viewable by the naked eye. Our bespoke equipment and understanding of the uniqueness of each fire gives us the ability to detect fire damage and deal with it safely and effectively. Hired machines in the hands of inexperienced operators will cost unnecessary time and money in the long term. We understand the urgency of returning your home to its pre incident state and we operate quickly and efficiently to do so for you.

A. From your point of view, the quicker the process starts, the quicker you can be back in your home. Restoration work following a fire can be lengthy, it would be wrong to assume its a quick fix. Secondary damage caused by fire begins within minutes but can be minimised if dealt with promptly by a professional. During a fire, chemical reactions produce chemicals that are toxic and potentially fatal. During the time that the fire services are extinguishing the flames, the use of water (although required for putting out the fire) can unfortunately cause further structural damage and additional hazards. The contaminated area needs to be neutralised and rendered safe to prevent further damage and degradation. Potentially, every minute is costing you money.

A. During the combustion of a fire, chemical changes occur and environmental pollutants are created, many of which are harmful to human health. This seems fairly straight forward but natural and synthetic materials in your home produce a vast array of chemicals, depending on their makeup. Here at Tempest, we thoroughly assess the entire area using state-of-the-art testing equipment to detect any traces of hazardous substances.

A. Of paramount importance and priority is safety. Fire can, however big or small, cause structural damage to your home. Even past the point of the emergency services approving the site safe for entry, you should still proceed with caution. Every fire is different and unique. The location of a fire in your home can cause a chain reaction to other rooms, and sometimes it can be contained, either way the process of restoration is variable depending on many different factors. We assess each site to ascertain the extent of the damage and the precise actions required. We undertake a comprehensive risk assessment and survey of the property along with safety checks of power supplies to isolate any further damage. Ventilation of the home then removes trace of odour. Contents are assessed for renovation/removal and damaged surfaces are decontaminated and cleaned, neutralising odours.

A. During a fire the heat produced can reach thousands of degrees. The corrosive smoke produced is forced into every space and becomes trapped in porous materials, most surfaces will almost certainly suffer corrosion. Combustion will create chemical products that will be toxic long after fire is extinguished. During the fire, fumes and chemicals produced such as carbon monoxide are potentially fatal. It is essential that your home is decontaminated by a professional following a fire, you could be ricking your health if you don't.

A. Yes. A fire produces chemical residues during combustion. The combustion process releases harmful chemicals into the environment. In older buildings materials such as asbestos and mercury have fatal side effects when subjected to fire. These chemicals penetrate porous materials and surfaces within the building itself. Smoke particles can penetrate some places you probably didn't think of, such as your heating system. If left, they can remain for months in the atmosphere which can result in lung irritation and respiratory problems, a major reason for having a professional undertake the restoration work.

A. Given that each fire is individual and unique based on many different factors including location, time and combustibles, the damage caused and cost to restore is also variable. In order to limit these costs, it is essential that fire damage remediation commences as quickly as possible. The secondary damage caused to properties begins following the fire being extinguished and will cause costs to escalate if not stopped. Our swift response teams located across the UK can be on site speedily and act quickly and efficiently to ensure your losses are kept to a minimum and your home can be back to normal in a short space of time.

A. Our technicians are trained to the highest standards and are equipped to decontaminate fire and soot-damaged properties. We have been restoring, renovating and repairing domestic and commercial premises for over many years and have served hundreds of customers in across the UK, helping them get back to normal. We are trusted providers to many insurance companies who come highly recommend.

A. We operate across the UK with technicians available in major towns and cities. Our head office is based in Swaffham, Norfolk where we undertake all our training.

Tempest Restoration

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Phone: 0845 052 4522
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