When we lose a period home we lose a part of our nation’s heritage, and whilst it is impossible to negate every single risk, there are measures that can be taken to significantly reduce it.
We all want to retain the aesthetic qualities of period properties that make them so unique but this should not come at the expense of fire safety. That’s why we’ve put together this basic fire safety guide which outlines tips for protecting your home:
1. Install a Smoke Detector
Smoke detectors are essential in any home, of course, but they are particularly important in Victorian and Georgian structures that were built with large amounts of timber (or thatched properties).
You should aim to have one or two smoke detectors in your property, preferably mains- powered devices that are linked to one another. We would recommend having one downstairs and another on the first floor, while owners of thatched properties should also install one in the roof space.
2. Use a Heat Alarm in Your Kitchen
Whilst you may have installed a smoke alarm in your hallway, and one on your landing, you should also look to fit a heat alarm in the kitchen.
Cleverly, heat alarms provide an alert if abnormal temperature fluctuations begin to happen, which, along with smoke, could be one of the first indicators that a fire is breaking out.
For those fed up with noisy sirens during cooking, heat alarms provide a welcome solution.
Staying in the kitchen, it’s handy to have a fire extinguisher located nearby on the ground floor and keep a blanket close to the oven.
3. Sweep the Chimney
Most period homes have traditional chimneys that are a cherished feature but they also represent a fire hazard, so it’s important they are checked and maintained on a regular basis.
As well as cleaning them independently, they should be lined and professionally swept at least once a year. This will clear any debris or blockages, ensuring that smoke and fumes can escape the property.
These steps will help to guarantee the safety of your period home in the event of a fire, particularly when they are combined with other measures. It is strongly advised that you draw up an exit route in the event of a fire and always ensure that there are viable means of escape via windows and doors.