Prevent fire hazards and keep your home safe with these tips.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Prevent fire hazards and keep your home safe with these tips.

Photo Atip Rungsirisap / 123RF
Photo Atip Rungsirisap / 123RF

■ Install smoke detectors on the ceiling of each room. Test smoke alarms monthly to ensure proper working conditions, and change the batteries at least yearly, or as recommended by the manufacturer.

■ Switch off all appliances and devices when not in use. Unplug them before you leave the house.

■ Designate a cabinet for storing flammable products, such as aerosol sprays, lighters fluids and paint thinners. Choose one that is situated away from heat sources.

■ Devise a fire escape plan, using the nearest fire exits and staircases in your building. Practise the route with your family several times, and allow children to do it by themselves to make sure that they are prepared if a fire breaks out.

■ Check your stove frequently. For electric, make sure that its power cord connections are intact. For gas, check that it is leak-free by applying a soap solution onto the gas hose; bubbles will appear if there is a leakage.

■ Keep a portable fire extinguisher in the kitchen and ensure that everyone knows how to use it. Purchase one weighing 1.5 kg or more and with an ABC rating (meaning for all type of fires) from a servicing company that is certified by TUV SUD PSB Singapore, the internationally recognised testing, inspection and certification body.


■ Run cords near water sources or under rugs, in case of wearing out and short-circuiting that will cause a spark.

■ Attempt to fix damaged sockets and frayed cords, as you may hurt yourself or do it wrongly and cause a potential hazard. Hire a professional electrician!

■ Overload your electrical outlets by plugging in too many appliances or extensions.


Don’t pour water on a grease fire (when oil becomes too hot while cooking), as it will cause the oil to splash and spread the fire! Turn the heat off and cover the pan with a metal lid or wet cloth to extinguish the fire.


Apply the P.A.S.S method when using a fire extinguisher:

■ Pull the safety pin from the handle.

■ Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, not the flames.

■ Squeeze the lever above the handle. Release to stop the flow.

■ Sweep from side to side, until all flames are extinguished.