Cookies information uses cookies to make the site simpler. Find out more about the cookies we use.

Close banner

Advice to help keep residents and their families safe from fire

Published: 21 October 2022

Advice to help keep residents and their families safe from fire More than half of domestic fires start in the kitchen

Residents can take a number of steps to make sure their homes and families are safe from the threat of fire.

The Council’s Compliance Works Surveyor (Fire) has provided some useful information on how to keep residents and their homes safe.

More than half of domestic fires start in the kitchen, here are a few points to remember:

  • Never leave cooking unattended, no matter how small or quick the distraction may seem
  • Always keep items clear from around the hob when cooking, and keep your toaster clear from items such as curtains/blinds and kitchen rolls
  • Avoid using a traditional ‘chip pan’ if you can. Instead, use a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer
  • Turn off all appliances when you are finished with them

Electrical fires are the second most common cause of domestic fires, so remember:

  • Extension leads and multi-plug leads generate heat; they should be used sparingly and carefully. A useful guide and calculator can be found here Overloading Sockets | Electrical Safety First
  • Never use block plug adapters – many of them are not fused and are a fire risk
  • When charging mobile devices always use the charger that came with the device rather than fake replacements
  • Always charge your device on a hard, safe surface, and never on a carpet, bed or under a pillow
  • If you think an electrical item may be faulty, unplug it and do not use until it has been checked by a professional. This is especially important for white goods such as tumble dryers, fridges and televisions
  • Never try and carry out electrical works yourself. Always use a qualified professional and obtain the required certification
  • Always turn off anything that is not required to be on, especially at bedtime or when going out

Candles can create a lovely warm glow, or scent a room nicely, but:

  • Always place them in a suitable base, away from soft furnishings and curtains
  • Never leave them unattended, especially around children or pets
  • Make sure they are fully extinguished when you leave the room, especially at bedtime

Smoking is the most common cause of fatal fires, resulting in one in five deaths. If anyone in the household smokes:

  • Try and smoke outside.  Take extra care if you smoke indoors and never smoke in bed
  • Empty ashtrays often, ensuring that the contents are fully extinguished
  • Keep all lighters/matches out of children’s reach

Remember to test smoke detectors regularly, at least monthly. Do not store or accumulate lots of items that could possibly start or fuel a fire.

If there is a fire at home:

  • Quickly get out of the room where the fire is and close the door
  • Call the fire service on 999 immediately
  • Tell everyone that there’s a fire and to get out too
  • Don’t stop to get anything, and shut the front door firmly
  • Do not try and put the fire out
  • Wait outside away from the building in a safe place

Think about creating an escape plan in the event of a fire at home. Useful guidance can be found here: How to make an escape plan | Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (

Residents can carry out their own online home fire safety check here: HFSC (

Further fire safety information can be found on our website here: Fire safety - Exeter City Council or on Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue website here: What safety advice are you looking for? | Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (

Further advice or a safety query can be gained by contacting our Repairs line on 01392 265031 or email

Share this page on...