Prevention is better than cure with fire safety. During the design process of you new home make sure that you comply with all the health and safety regulations as far as fire and think about the products that you could use to slow down a fire if you are unfortunate to have one in your home. When purchasing the material, whether yourself or through a builder do find out the options you have as far as its fire resistance value and do spend a bit more to ensure you get those extra minutes in case of an emergency.
When designing your home, do make sure that you have included a plan fire escape route. Do ensure that all habitable rooms have an exit option as far as a fire.
If you are having window that lock always make sure the key is near by in the same room incase it is needed for escape.
If a room has a fixed window or only a small area that opens at the top always have a small hammer or sharp object in that room that could be used to break the glass if that is the only exit from there in an emergency.
If you are having a built on garage with a door entrance to the main house you must fit a fire door that is self closing. By law materials used in this area must have at least half an hour fire resistance to help slow down the spread of flames.
Built in garages need to have fire resistant materials to cover the ceiling and walls that enter into the main part of the house.
There are Health & Safety rules set out for fireplaces, roofing materials, pipes carrying gas, electric, oil and so on. The rules must be followed if you want to do the best for yourself and your family in case of a fire. There are extra things that you can do for yourself .
Smoke alarms should be placed in every room and hallway in the house. Alarms come in different designs so they can even be concealed in a recess like lights. When choosing a fire alarm for your house, make sure that you go for a system that can be connected to the mains with a back up battery. The reason for this is that a lot of people forget to test the batteries on regular basis and the system might not work in an emergency. Do insure that you have a fire alarm in every habitable room in the house. Overall, house builders think that a fire alarm can not be fitted in an area like the kitchen due to the fact that the smoke from the cooking would set it off constantly. A Smoke alarm would do this but not a heat sensitive one. So shop around for a fire alarms designed for the kitchen.
A small fire extinguisher should always be in easy reach in the kitchen, as should a fire blanket. Make sure that all of the members of your family know how to use these items. You might think that small children would not understand but children over 3 yrs. are usually able to carry out simple instructions. (this is not to encourage them to tackle the fire)
Explain what is required of each member of the family if they have to call 999. If you have a baby sitter in the house or guests make sure that everyone is aware of you escape plan so that if you are not there but the kids are they can still get out safely
When choosing an electrician in Ireland he or she has to be registered with the ESB and have a certain level of qualification but after their work has been completed do not be tempted to do any electrical work for yourself or have any unregistered person work on your home. Bad electrical work causes fires. Make sure that all of your appliances are fitted with the correct amp fuse and during your design make sure that you have plenty of sockets in your new home.
If you have a gas supply in your home, then you need to have a gas detection alarm, remember that gas is the silent killer.
Tip : Incase of a fire in the kitchen due to an electrical appliance, only tackle the fire if it is safe to do so, otherwise get out and call 999. If it is a small fire, find out where the source is and do not panic . Turn the power off and then attend the fire. If you have fire blanket, use it and if you do not dampen a towel and put on top of the fire. Do not throw water over it and do not try to fan it away, it will not work and would make it worse. Always have a fire extinguisher handy but make sure that it is the right type.
Tip: Never overload the sockets by putting too many connection in the same point, it could cause a fire.