The expense of keeping warm this winter is something lots of people spent the majority of 2022 thinking, or maybe more honestly, worrying about.

With many struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills or apprehensive over what they may be, it’s no surprise we start to look at alternatives to keep warm.

While most of the time the methods we choose are perfectly safe, it’s still wise to bear in mind the preventable dangers that could occur.

Tina Collett, Prevention Team Leader at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We know people may be looking at different ways of heating their homes, like electric blankets, candles, open fires, or portable electric heaters. But these could pose a greater fire risk.”

Tina shared some excellent tips for making sure you still keep safe while keeping warm this winter.

  • Make sure you have one working smoke alarm on every floor of your home.
  • Test your smoke alarms regularly.
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm in all rooms that have fuel burning heating.
  • Never use a BBQ inside your home or any indoor space.

"Open fires and wood burning stoves can be a really cost effective way of heating your home. If you're opening an old fireplace, you'll need to consider building regulations and definitely get the flue and chimney checked and swept to prevent fires and carbon monoxide poisoning."

     Tina Collett, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Handyman Installing Smoke Detector
Heating Basement With Electric Heater Blurry Boxes Shelfs Background
  • Electric heaters should always be plugged into a wall socket, NOT an extension lead.
  • Don't sit too close to a heater, you need to be at least a metre away.
  • Never dry clothes directly on or near a heater or open fire.
  • Close internal doors at night, it keeps your rooms warm and reduces fire and smoke spread if a fire was to start.

"Candles are not an efficient way to heat a room and you need to be really careful if using them for lighting. Around a third of fires started by candles result in death or injury. Always have them in a suitable holder."

     Tina Collett, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.

  • Keep electrical appliances clean and maintained, it's not only safer but can be more energy efficient and prolong their lifespan.
  • Avoid running white goods and charging devices when asleep or not at home.
  • Always buy electrical products from reputable retailers and manufactures as fake products can pose a higher fire risk.

"We encourage everyone to register their electrical items, as then you'll be informed if there's a problem or product recall at any time. You can do this for new and used goods at Register My Appliance."

     Tina Collett, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.

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