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12 top tips to stay safe this winter


The onset of winter brings added fire and security risks and Chubb Fire & Security Limited wants to help keep homes, families and their belongings safe and secure.

According to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), accidental dwelling fires numbered 28,000 for the 12-month period ending March 2015, and contributed to 63 percent of all fire-related fatalities.

In the same time period, more than one in 10 homes were impacted by crime (Office for National Statistics).

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 winter months:

1. Fit a smoke alarm. Test your smoke alarm weekly and change the batteries at least once a year.

2. 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.

3. Don’t place flammable items by a log-fire, radiator or heater

4. If using an electric blanket, make sure the cord isn’t frayed or worn before plugging it in. And never leave it on unsupervised for longer than 15 minutes.

5. 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.

6. In the kitchen, keep a fire blanket or suitable extinguisher handy.

7. Consider installing a motion activated exterior light to welcome you home after dark – and deter unwanted visitors.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. In case of a fire, have a plan. Make sure you have more than one escape route should your exit become blocked.

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