How to Prevent Fires

Everyone knows how devastating fire can be. When we prepare reinstatement specifications for fire damaged properties, we’re always amazed at the damage that can occur from something that seems really quite small initially. Most people are aware that fires can start from cigarettes not being put out properly or chip pan fires getting out of hand but there are lots of other ways fires can start around the home which are preventable. Here is some information about how fires can start and what you can do to prevent it.


Modern electrical appliances and old electrical systems are not a good combination. Many fires in the UK have electrical origins and some of those are due to old or worn wiring. There is a reason that landlords in the UK are now required to have electrical safety certificates to rent out their properties and that is because it’s a really good idea to get your electrics checked by a qualified electrician on a regular basis. Another common cause of house fires are overloaded plug sockets. With large multi-socket extension bars, it’s tempting to just plug everything into them but the plug sockets still have a maximum number of amps they can handle so it is worth checking what that is and making sure you don’t exceed it.


Poor quality electrical appliances are another common source of fires so it is worth checking they meet British safety standards. Other issues with appliances can include hair styling appliances like straighteners being left on, electric blankets being folded so it damages the wiring and causes a fault or even fairy lights being left on in an empty house.

Clutter and Dust

Who knew that keeping your house clean and tidy was a safety issue as well as an aesthetic one? It is though as things like over cluttered cupboards with lights in have been known to start fires where the light is too close to combustible things inside. Clutter can also be an issue in the kitchen where flammable things are allowed to get too close to the hob and catch fire. It sounds strange but letting dust build up around electrical sockets and heaters as well as letting crumbs build up in your toaster can also be the cause of household fires.

Mirrors and Glassware

Another source of fires which people don’t often think of are glassware and mirrors. A recent fire in Hove started because a make-up mirror was left on a windowsill on a sunny day which reflected hot sunlight onto the bed which started a fire that not only caused serious damage to the flat but also, very sadly, killed the owners’ pet. Glassware like vases can also have this effect if left on windows which get direct sunlight shining into them.


Leaving candles unattended is a far more obvious cause of fire but it’s surprising how often people still leave them too close to flammable items or under shelves or not in proper holders so they fall over and start fires.

Even the most careful households can still experience fires which is why it is so important to have working smoke alarms in every property. It is also important to remember that the damage to your property can be put right so it is never worth risking lives or health trying to save. If you do know anyone who has had a fire or flood in their home and needs help dealing with the insurance company or getting reinstatement specifications written up, please give us a call on 01273 281624 or email

Contact Us

Tate Surveying Services,
Freedom Works, Unit 7 Hove Business Centre, Fonthill Road, Hove, BN3 6HA

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