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Protecting Your Home From Fires

Despite people feeling safest in their homes, this is where most people get injured or die in fires, according to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency). Nobody imagines there will be a fire in their house until it happens, so it's vital to take all the precautions, first of all to prevent a fire from occurring, but also, to be prepared if there is a fire (despite your best efforts, you will never be able to make your home 100% fireproof). Following a few simple rules will ensure that the risk of a fire is greatly reduced, but also that you and the people you live with will not be hurt if it does happen.

Smoke alarms: these should be tested regularly, and don't leave the batteries out (they may make an annoying sound when you burn the toast, but they save lives). Smoke alarms should be fitted on every level of your home.

Cigarettes: if you smoke indoors, always make sure that cigarettes are properly stubbed out. Accidents often occur when people fall asleep while smoking - smoking in bed while under the influence of alcohol is particularly dangerous.

Careful in the kitchen: more than 50% of accidental fires in homes start in the kitchen, so this is a place where extra care should be taken. Do not leave children alone in the kitchen when cooking and double check to see that the hob is off if they are gas burners.

Plug sockets: plugging in too many appliances to one socket may cause it to overheat and start an electrical fire. Best to always keep to one appliance for each socket. Old or poorly-wired sockets and appliances are also dangerous - if you're not sure, about how safe your house is, you can ask for a home visit from the fire and rescue service, many of them will do this for free.

Candles: an increasing number of fires are caused by candles. Never leave an open flame unwatched.

Of course, you may have taken all the precautions and still have a fire in your house. For this reason, you should always have an escape route marked out, know where fire-blankets and extinguishers are kept and if you have valuable items, make sure they are insured. Finally, visit the Legal & General website for more information on what can be covered in case of fire and to get a home insurance quote.

By keeping these few key points in mind, you can make sure you and your home are safe.

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