Posted on 31 March 2020

Family Safety Week 2020

As it’s Family Safety Week, we thought we’d share some top tips for staying safe at home.

We asked our qualified boiler, electrical and appliance engineers for their helpful hints on looking after yourself and your family at home; especially given that we’re all spending more time at home.

Around 2.7 million people are admitted to hospital due to accidents that have happened within the home at a cost of £45.63 billion.

James, our electrical engineer from Croydon, shared his tips for preventing electrical accidents within the home: 

  • Get your wiring checked at least once every five years by an approved contractor, or immediately when buying an older property
  • Don’t use appliances with worn or damaged flexes and don’t wire flexes together
  • Don’t take electrical appliances into your bathroom
  • Electrical blankets should be regularly checked
  • Never overload an electrical socket
  • If an appliance appears fault, stop using it and have it checked immediately
  • Change light bulbs safely by using a step-ladder rather than unstable furniture

Paul, our Gas Safety registered boiler and central heating engineer from Leeds, shared his advice:

  • Have your boiler serviced annually by a qualified engineer to ensure it’s in tip top condition. Find out more about what is involved with our boiler services.
  • Your gas flame will usually burn blue but if it burns yellow or orange, there may be a build-up of carbon monoxide. Have your boiler checked immediately by a Gas Safety registered engineer
  • Be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning such as drowsiness and flu-like systems
  • Check the pilot light regularly on your boiler to make sure it has not gone out
  • When you’re buying a gas appliance, look for the British Standards or British Seal of Approval safety mark
  • If you suspect a gas leak, open the windows, turn off the supply and call the Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999. Read more about what to do in the event of a gas leak
  • Reduce the risk of burns (especially to children) by using the back ring of your cooker first so that they can’t be reached and pulled down

Sam from Wales is an expert engineer in appliance maintenance and repair and shares her top tips for keeping all your appliances in perfect working order:

  • Install fridges and freezers in a dry, ventilated room. These should not be installed in direct sunlight or near radiators
  • If an appliance seems faulty, stop using it and have it checked at once and if you have appliance cover report it to your insurance provider immediately
  • Regularly defrost your fridge/freezer if it’s not a frost-free appliance
  • Don’t attempt to heat non-food products in the microwave unless the instructions say you can
  • Keep the vents on a standalone microwave clear
  • Clean your washing machine and tumble dryer and check the filters/vents periodically
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for us
  • Check your dishwasher’s filter regularly and clean if necessary
  • Check your cooker is turned off after use (particularly the hob)
  • Keep dish clothes and tea towels away from burners and hot plates

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is running Family Safety Week from March 30 to April 3. Their aim is to exchange skills and knowledge to reduce serious accidental injuries in the home. Find out more here.

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