Danger in the Night
In the ten year period 1994 – 2003 a total of 462 people died in fires in Ireland. Over 60% of these deaths occurred during the night-time period after 9pm and before 9am because people were overcome by fumes while sleeping. Most fatal fires have a tendency to happen during the winter months.
Human error and problems associated with cooking, heating and electrical equipment are among the leading causes of the 30,000 fire emergencies reported annually.
Start the Routine
Installing smoke alarms in the home will greatly enhance the chances of detecting a fire should one break out while sleeping. However, the risk of a fire breaking out can be greatly reduced by carrying out a few simple steps before going to bed each night:
Switch off all gas and electrical equipment and unplug any appliances not in use before going to bed
Place a sparkguard in front of open fire places
Close the doors of all rooms in the home
Check that all cigarettes ends are safety extinguished and never ever smoke in bed
Make sure all escape routes such as corridors, stars and hallways are clear of obstacles
Start a ‘Last thing at night procedures’ routine and practice it regularly.