No one ever wants a fire in the home. But with resources spread thin during the firefighters' strike, now more than ever, we need to be aware of potential dangers.
There's no question that during the fire strike the risk of being injured in a fire is increased, as professional firefighters and modern, well-stocked fire engines make way for a vastly smaller fleet of aging Green Goddesses, manned by the military.
But there things we can all do to help minimise the risks. Follow these six points:
Smoke alarms - they cost about £5 each and are the simplest single step you can take to cut the risk of dying from fire. Smoke alarms detect fires in their early stages and give you precious minutes to get out of your home safely. Fit at least one smoke alarm on each floor of your home and check the batteries.
Costs a fiver, saves lives
Make a fire action plan - plan an escape route in the event of a fire, and make sure everyone in the house understands it and knows what to do. The best escape route is usually through the front door, but plan a second one in case that is blocked.
In the kitchen - the biggest fire risk in the home is from deep-fat frying. Boiling hot fat can go up in flames and is difficult to put out. Never fill pans more than a third-full with oil; dry food before it goes in the oil; if the pan starts to smoke, turn it off and let the oil cool; never leave a pan unattended.
Maybe go to the chippy on strike days
Candles - these are a growing cause of fire. Put them in a proper holder, place them away from curtains, don't light them under shelves and keep clothes and hair away from them.
Smoking - the number one rule is never smoke in bed. If you fall asleep the cigarette will set light to your bedclothes and you will die from the fumes. So it's worth not smoking anywhere in the house if you are feeling drowsy. Don't leave a lit cigarette, use deep ashtrays and make sure a cigarette is properly stubbed out.
Before you go to bed - half of all deaths in home fires take place between 10pm and 8am, so it's work carrying out a few simple checks at night. Turn off electrical appliances, unplug them if you can. Check the cooker is off. Close all doors to stop the spread of fire. Turn off your electric blanket.