A Danish concept known as ‘hygge’ (to live cosily) has taken off across the UK in recent years, however firefighters from the London Fire Brigade (LFB) have been warning Londoners of some of the potential dangers of this new trend.
Did you know that 340 fires in London last year were caused by candles, heaters and electric blankets? Fortunately there are some simple ways to make sure that you can live cosily without putting yourself or others at risk; by following the LFB’s useful fire safety tips, you can make sure that you embrace the hygge lifestyle whilst also ensuring that your home is safe from the risk of fire:
LFB hygge safety tips
- Always sit at least one metre away from a heater as it could set light to your clothes or chair. The elderly may be particularly susceptible to burns from sitting too close to a portable heater.
- Keep heaters well away from clothes, curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes.
- Regularly service heaters and boilers, do not to block vents or flues as this can cause a deadly build-up of carbon monoxide. If you have gas appliances or use open fires etc., ensure that you have a working carbon monoxide alarm.
- Make sure heaters are well maintained and in good working order.
- Don’t take risks with old heaters – if it’s electrical and getting older, get it tested by a qualified electrician or buy a new one.
- Where appropriate, secure heaters against a wall to stop them falling over, or fit wall-mounted heaters.
- Make sure you put out any candles, incense and oil burners when you leave the room and especially before bed.
- Keep candles away from materials that might catch fire – that’s things like curtains, furniture, clothes and hair.
- Be especially careful if you have a lot of flammable items in your home, like collections of books, magazines or papers.
- Be aware that tea lights get very hot and without proper holders can melt through plastic surfaces like a TV or bath.
- To avoid accidents keep candles and other naked flames out of reach of children and pets.
- LED candles can be a great alternative – they’re safe even if you fall asleep or forget to blow them out.
For further fire safety tips and details of how you can book a free fire safety home visit, please check out the London Fire Brigade’s website.