The onset of winter and the festive season bring added fire and security risks and Chubb wants to help keep homes, families and their belongings safe and secure. Chubb is a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
According to theHome Office’s Fire Statistics Monitor, there were 191 fire-related fatalities from accidental dwelling fires in England between April 2015 and March 2016, 24 more than the previous year. The Office for National Statistics reported nearly 400,000 burglaries between July 2015 and June 2016, roughly half of which were domestic. To help in the prevention of crime and the prevention, detection and containment of fire, Chubb offers this 12-point guide to staying safe over the festive period and winter:
1. Fit a smoke alarm. Regularly test your smoke alarm and change the batteries at least once a year.
2. In case of a fire, have a plan. Make sure you have more than one escape route should your exit become blocked.
3. Don’t place your Christmas tree by a log-fire, radiator or heater. Turn all Christmas tree lights off before going to bed at night.
4. If using an electric blanket, make sure the cord isn’t frayed or worn before plugging it in. Never leave it on unsupervised for longer than 15 minutes.
5. In the kitchen, keep a fire blanket or suitable extinguisher handy.
6. Never leave fires, candles or any form of exposed flame in the home unattended and ensure children are always supervised when around fires, candles or matches.
7. If using gas-, oil- or coal-burning appliances, use a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm to be quickly alerted of CO dangers. Ensure the home is properly ventilated and equipment is regularly serviced and maintained.
8. Going away? Do not post on social media about your travel plans and install a timer to switch lights on and off so that the house appears to be occupied.
9. Do not keep keys in a place that is visible from outside, such as hanging on hooks, and do not hide keys near a door, such as under the doormat, as thieves know to check these places.
10. Consider installing a motion-activated exterior light to welcome you home after dark – and deter unwanted visitors.
11. Ask to redirect your post, cancel any newspaper and milk deliveries and ask your neighbor to take any packages away. This avoids a backlog, which is a telltale sign that a house is unoccupied.
12. Exercise common sense.
“This advice has been designed to help keep the public safe this winter and over the festive period,” said Andy Johnston, marketing and communications, Chubb Fire & Security. “We urge everyone to be mindful of the devastating effects a house fire can have. Installing a fire or smoke alarm is one of the easiest measures to prevent a potentially devastating incident from taking place.”
“Likewise, incidents of domestic burglary are more common than many would think. By applying common sense and following our list of basic security precautions, we hope people and their properties are safer this winter,” Johnston concluded.