Safe as a house

Take time to check your home

The recent horrific tragedy in Carrickmines, Dublin 18 has sent shock waves and sadness throughout our community, country and beyond.  It is even more poignant that this tragic event has occurred during our national fire safety week the 5th to the 12th of October.

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We can never underestimate the dangers of fire and indeed other potential threats within our homes.  Unfortunately, not all accidents are preventable, however many could perhaps be avoided if we were increasingly mindful and proactive when it comes to the preventative measures and warnings.

As the saying goes, as safe as a house, we should all question how safe are our homes?

Do we know where we should place our smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, how many we should have and how often they should be tested?

Do we have a fire blanket or a working fire extinguisher?

When we get electrical work completed in our homes, do will insist on a fully registered contractor completing it?

Do we ever leave portable heaters on unattended or while we are asleep?

Do we ever leave our mobile phone or iPad charging while sleeping or when it is already fully charged?

Do we often take chances with overloaded sockets?

Do we risk leaving on appliances other than the likes of our freezer or fridge while we sleep?

Do we ensure our stoves and chimneys are checked and cleaned regularly?

Do we often forget about burning candles?

In the event of a fire, do we have an escape plan in place for all the family and are they aware of it?

Is our home at risk from radon gas?

Is your home fire proofed against your neighbour’s house (if semi-detached or terraced)?

Do our children know what numbers to ring in the event of an emergency?

For some really useful guidelines on fire prevention, check out http://firesafetyweek.ie/

Of course our homes can harbour other dangers especially when it comes to children.  Some of the most common accidents are related to falling, chocking, scalding and poisoning.  The Health Service Executive website http://www.hse.ie/eng/health/child/childsafety/ is highly informative on these matters.  It would be wise to ensure that everyone who cares for your child outside the home or crèche is aware of this information, whether it might be your au pair, sibling, parent or babysitter.

With our hectic schedules, we can tend to turn a blind eye to even the most obvious of safety measures.  However, it makes perfect sense to involve everyone in the household when it comes to safety, especially the children.  Like brushing your teeth, getting into the habit of carrying out a routine safety check last thing every night.  Taking time to check your home and indeed your extended families homes could potentially save lives – now that’s time well spent!