Home Efficiency – Simple Ways to Prevent a Fire at Home – Part 1

A few days ago, we were jolted from our evening routine when a fire started at a neighbour’s flat in Maida Vale. Smoke and sparks were coming out of her washing machine mid-cycle. Heroically, the fire brigade were at the scene within 3 minutes of the 999 call and they were able to put out the fire. Thankfully no one was harmed, despite the flat and the building suffering damage.

The incident reminded us of “best practices” we should all be following in our homes – and in the case of London PS, with the properties we look after – in order to prevent a few of these situations.

1. Register all the appliances that enter your homes with their respective manufacturers. This applies to dishwashers, washers, dryers, kettles, toasters, etc. This registration serves two purposes. The first is to make sure the warranty information is recorded. The second and most important reason is to be on the receiving end of “product recall” information. Manufacturers will be able to contact buyers in case a specific batch of products is faulty and must be recalled.

2. A lot of households run their dishwashers after dinner and before going to bed. Had our neighbour been asleep when the fire started, she might not have been able to escape unharmed. A working smoke detector would need to have been triggered in order to alert her of the dishwasher problem. We should be running our appliances during times when we can supervise them, rather than overnight or when our properties are empty. It is also a reminder that we should be checking regularly if our smoke detectors work.

3. Take pictures of the make and model number of appliances with phones. This information is usually found along the doors of dishwashers and dryers. See picture. Do this in addition to keeping all the manuals together in a safe place. That will allow us to have the brand and model of all our appliances in the unfortunate case of a fire preventing us from reading this information.

There are many other fire safety suggestions, but take these three for now and put them into practice in your own home. Do not delay.

P.S. Efficiency Tip. Register your appliances, run appliances when you’re home, and take pictures of the make and model of your white goods.

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