difference between fixed wire tests and PAT Testing - fixed wire tests experts

What’s the difference between fixed wire tests and PAT Testing?

PAT and fixed wire tests are often viewed as the same service, when in fact they are hugely different. Each test requires various, diverse skills and equipment to complete. Read on to help better understand the differences between PAT and fixed wire tests.

What do each of the tests cover?

Fixed wire testing covers the safety inspection and testing of electrical systems within a building. This is a legal requirement for any business or organisation and must be completed by a qualified professional.

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) covers the testing of individual electrical appliances within a building, commonly tested items include kettles, toasters, printers, PC’s and monitors. These tests can be carried out by a competent and suitably trained responsible person or by a qualified PAT engineer.

How does your organisation pass each of these tests?

For fixed wire tests, your organisation will need to pass a certain amount of requirements, and take note and action any recommended deviations concerning flagged electrical issues that are currently safe but likely to deteriorate over time. The flagged deviations are coded in severity ranging from C1 ‘Danger Present’ to C3 ‘Improvement Recommended’, these are reviewed regularly and in line with the standards and guidance all electrical engineers should work to.

At this point, the tester can also recommend when the next test should be done, dependent on how many ‘red flags’ are brought up.

On the other hand, PAT Testing your equipment will simply receive a ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’ and tests differ slightly dependent on the piece of equipment. In more extreme cases, the appliance may be removed from the premises in the event of it failing. Reasons an appliance can fail include;

  • The equipment not being properly set up.
  • The age of the electrical equipment.
  • Damaged equipment unsuitable for continued service.

Are Fixed Wire and PAT Tests required for all organisations?

All business owners and landlords should ensure that fixed wire tests are completed by a suitably qualified engineer; or in the case of PAT a suitably qualified or competent person. This is a requirement of The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.

How long do the certifications last?

Although there are no legal requirements defining how often you should get your PAT Testing certificate renewed, we would highly recommend that you get your portable equipment tested a minimum of every 2 years to ensure it’s compliant and safe for use. For more high risk items, such as appliances that are exposed to harsh weather conditions, or continued regular use a professional PAT Testing company will recommend more regular tests.

Fixed wire tests are slightly different and legally requires you to get tests done every 5 years in commercial premises, however in some circumstances we would recommend you have a re-test sooner than this. This period between tests will vary dependent on the type of premises. Learn more about the importance of fixed wire testing here >>    

What is the price difference of the 2 tests?

This is completely dependent on the job at hand and will be calculated on survey or assessment. PAT Tests usually need to be done more often but are shorter jobs to complete, whereas fixed wire testing can take our engineers longer due to the complexity of the process. We can provide you with a no obligation quote and assessment of your requirements to ensure that we complete the job with as little disruption as possible. We commit to providing excellent quality of service at great value, and with a 96% customer satisfaction we really re getting there!

Can Reaction Group complete both PAT and fixed wire testing?

Yes! Our certified engineers are qualified to complete both of these tests and we are dedicated to bringing you quality, efficient service every time. Our team of fully qualified engineers are located across the UK. The team can also provide Emergency Light Testing, Fire Alarm Testing, Fire Extinguisher Servicing and we have highly skilled engineers who can repair faulty electrical systems.

If your business requires either fixed wire testing or PAT Testing, get in touch by calling us on 0203 961 5855 or emailing us here.

Fixed Wire Testing company

How to choose a Fixed Wire Testing company?

The importance of fixed wire testing

Fixed wire inspection and testing is an important step in making sure electrical equipment works systems are efficient and fit for continued use by the owner of the premises, and anyone who may visit and work or live within the premises.

Leaving your fixed wire system unmaintained for long periods of time increases the risk of highly dangerous incidents occurring and puts the lives of you, your employees or customers at risk. To keep the premise safe and stay on the right side of the law, ensure you have an effective fixed wire testing service in place on a regular basis. Read more about fixed wire testing >

Key factors to look for when searching for a fixed wire testing company

When choosing a partner to complete your fixed wire inspection and tests, ensure you consider the following factors:

  • Are they fully accredited?
  • Do they carry out all the correct health and safety procedures?
  • Are their staff fully trained?
  • What equipment do they use?
  • Do they offer bespoke packages?

Why choose Reaction Group for your fixed wire testing?

At Reaction Group, we understand the utmost importance of a thorough fixed wire inspection and test in diagnosing any potential issues or red flags which may cause issues in the future. We put the safety of our clients, their customers and employees first, therefore we do not cut corners or skip procedures.

Reaction Group are a fully qualified company

We hold the correct, industry-wide accreditations which ensure we are health and safety approved and follow the correct procedures in terms of risk management and employee protection. These include ISO 9001, Safe Contractor Approved, ConstructionOnline, CHAS, CompEx and APEA. We are also an NICEIC Approved Contractor which means you can trust that our practices are competent and always meet the technical and safety standards.

Our talented fixed wire engineers

Our engineers all hold a minimum qualification of C&G2391 for the inspection and testing of electrical installations which means they are highly competent in performing fixed wire tests. We use the latest, handheld equipment and software which means your reports are accessible within just a few hours!

Our fixed wire testing packages

Our comprehensive packages are tailored to each business depending on the scale of the business, types of equipment being tested and the level of risk the environment which surrounds the business. For example, a high risk environment may be in an exposed or wet location whereby water is a potential hazard.

Our packages are available at a competitive price and we carry out free pre-inspection visits. And to put your mind at ease, all our work is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee.

We work quickly and efficiently to ensure there is minimal disruption to your workplace and can offer combined visits with our PAT testing and emergency lighting services, so all your maintenance is completed in one visit.

Get a quote from Reaction Group

Learn more about fixed wire testing and the service that Reaction Group provides by calling us on 0203 961 5855 or email us on reception@reactiongrp.com.

Fixed Wire Testing - what you need to know

Fixed Wire Testing – what you need to know

What is Fixed Wire Testing?

By definition, Fixed Wire Testing is the reporting and inspection of electrical systems within a workplace or premises. The purpose of Fixed Wire Testing is for safety reasons and to ensure that the electrical wiring is compliant with current regulations.

The term Fixed Wire Testing is also known as Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) and was previously referred to as Periodic Inspection Report. Over the years it has picked up many associated terms such as Hard Wire Testing, Fixed Testing, Periodic Testing and Electrical Testing.

Who needs to organise Fixed Wire Testing?

There are many regulations around electrical safety within the workplace. In particular, the Electricity at Work regulation that came into force on 1st April 1990, this ensures that employers monitor the condition of their electrical systems. The regulations apply to all places and premises where people work, which may include:

  • Commercial offices, warehouses and shops
  • Industrial construction site, factories and farms
  • Residential homes including care homes, hotels and buy-to-lets
  • Public buildings such as hospitals, schools, leisure centres, cinemas etc.

Electrical safety should not be taken lightly, and employers should take action to ensure the safety of their employees and/or customers. Fixed Wire Testing is an essential practice for any business; wires can deteriorate over time and quickly be deemed no longer safe and compliant.

Did you know? Over 7% of all workplace fatalities were caused by contact with electricity or electrical discharge.

In practice

A professional fixed wire testing company will tell you that there are two key elements to the process; the first being a visual interrogation and the second being electrical tests and circuit tracing on all systems in the building. These rigorous tests cover all the hard wiring in a building which may include; socket outlets, lighting, air conditioning, fixed plants, main panels and distribution boards.

It is important that the electrician conducting the tests takes accurate readings and records of the results, and that these results are kept safe by the business and/or building.

Fixed Wire Testing with Reaction Group

Reaction Group offers comprehensive Fixed Wire Testing packages which are tailored to your business and building needs, and are provided at a competitive price. Our engineers are all C&G 2391 qualified and record all their results on handheld computers, which means your reports are accessible within just a few hours!

We carry out free pre-inspection visits and all our work is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee.

Our processes are streamlined; we work quickly to ensure minimal disruptions to your business and can offer a comprehensive visit which combines our PAT testing and emergency light services too. As an NICEIC Approved Contractor, you can trust that our practices are competent and that we always meet the technical and safety standards.

Learn more about Fixed Wire Testing

If you have any questions regarding fixed wire testing or would like to book a free inspection visit, please get in touch with our team! Email reception@reactiongrp.com or call 0203 961 5855.

PAT Testing Regulations made simple

PAT Testing Regulations made simple

The UK Health and Safety Executive along with insurance companies will expect you to perform regular PAT tests to ensure that you are compliant with PAT testing regulations, which include:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974
  • The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989
  • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999

The key term used here is ‘expect’. There are currently no legal requirements to perform PAT tests within the workplace or home.

That being said, employers, the self employed and landlords have a duty of care when it comes to electrical safety and to ensure appliances, both fixed or portable, are properly maintained by taking reasonable measures to prevent danger.

Over 25% of all fires in the workplace are linked to a malfunction of either a piece of electrical equipment, wiring, or both.

So why perform PAT Testing?

There are many risks associated with electrical appliances and in particular ones which are old or situated in a high risk environment, such as wet or harsh conditions.

According to Which?, there are 60 house fires each week due to faulty appliances, such as washing machines, tumble dryers and fridge freezers. This costs individuals to both replace or fix the equipment and any consequencing damages that were made due to the fires such as injury and deaths.

Key factors to consider

When performing a PAT Test, there are a few considerations which should be made ahead of the test. These factors also influence how often PAT testing should be completed and the potential difficulties when carrying out the tests:

  • The type of equipment will determine the difficulty in testing the safety of it and whether the equipment is earthed or double insulated.
  • Handheld equipment such as drills, run higher risks, as if it is faulty it is likely to give the person holding it an electric shock.
  • The age of the equipment – older appliances are more likely to be troublesome due to their aged technology.
  • Environment where the equipment is used and/or stored; as mentioned above wet, harsh and/or dusty conditioning indicate a higher risk.
  • How frequently the equipment is used.
  • Any moderations or repairs previously made to the equipment.

How PAT Testing helps

Prevention of electrical damage or worst case, fires, can be minimised with the help of regular PAT Tests. As part of a comprehensive electrical safety plan in the workplace, at your properties or at home, we highly recommend organising professional assistance to ensure your appliances and equipment is safe for use. A thorough plan can also help reduce insurance costs and help with grounds on landlord requests; if anything should happen, you know you have a process in place.

PAT Testing with Reaction Group

Depending on the size, type and level of risk, we would propose a maintenance package to suit you. Get in touch with our team for more information on our packages and PAT Testing services across the UK. Our electricians are available 24/7 and will offer their expertise to help you! Call 0203 961 5855!

The Importance of PAT Testing

The Importance of PAT Testing – the good, the bad and the ugly

The Importance of PAT Testing – the good, the bad and the ugly

PAT Testing, or otherwise known as Portable Appliance Testing, is the act of examining electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use.

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment with the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition. (HSE, 2018)

What is a PAT Test?

PAT Testing involves a variety of tests which may vary slightly depending on the set up, variety of appliances being tested, and the PAT Testing company providing the service. At Reaction Group, as a minimum our PAT tests always include:

  • A visual inspection of the equipment
  • Ensuring any flexible cables are in good condition
  • Verification of grounding (if appropriate)
  • Testing the insulation between the current carrying parts
  • Checking any exposed metal that could be touched.

When performing a test, we indicate a pass or fail for each item, and will recommend the appropriate solutions if there are any defects.

Learn more about our electrical, fixed wire and lighting services.

What do the regulations say about PAT Testing?

There are no specific regulations which require PAT Testing to be conducted, nor do they specify details regarding what testing, if any, needs to be done, how frequently it is required or by whom the test should be done by. Essentially, this means there is no legal requirement to inspect or test electrical appliances.

This being said, there is a duty on employers, the self-employed and employees to take reasonable measures to prevent danger in their place work and to ensure appliances, both fixed or portable, are properly maintained. Therefore, it is highly recommended that businesses and landlords carry out regular professional PAT Testing to make sure these devices are safe for the users.

In recent news, there are new safety recommendations to better protect private tenants from risks of electric shocks or fires caused by electrical faults. These improved recommendations include fines of up to £30,000 for rogue landlords and agents and even banning orders for the worst offenders. Read more here >

So why is PAT Testing important?

As there is an increasing influx of electrical equipment and appliances from all over the world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to expect a high level of quality. For this reason, many appliances have been found unsafe, have been recalled by suppliers or deemed unfit for use in terms of fire safety.

Certain electrical appliances are particularly dangerous and could cause the following: an electric shock or burn, wear or misuse, or at worse cause a fire due to the damage. Items of higher risk may include, but are not limited to, equipment in wet and harsh environments, exposure to sunlight, old equipment or excessive wear and tear.

Did you know? Faulty appliances, such as washing machines, tumble dryers and fridge freezers, cause 60 UK house fires a week, Which? Says.

Who should perform PAT Tests?

There are two key parts to a PAT Test. The first being the visual inspection which does not involve touching or testing any of the equipment, this should be completed by an individual who is competent in knowing what to look out for. However, the second part involves inspection and testing which should only be carried out by an experienced and educated individual in the field of electrical testing. This is due to the increased risk when testing electrical equipment.

PAT tester checklist

A responsible PAT Testing professional should:

  • Have the appropriate equipment to complete the tests including calibrated devices
  • Be able to comprehend the results.
  • Have the ability to conduct the testing under safe circumstances and ensure the tests are conducted correctly with minimal risk of missing issues.
  • Carry the correct qualifications and insurances including being an NICEIC approved company and ensuring the engineers are qualified to C&G2377.

PAT Testing with Reaction Group

Our PAT Testing team have a wealth of experience in the field and have gained all the relevant qualifications and comprehensive training. Our team perform testing across the UK from small enterprises to global organisations like Samsung, Coca-Cola and Amazon.

Learn more about our PAT Testing services and how we can help keep your home and/or business safe. Call us on 0203 961 5855 or email us at reception@reactiongrp.com.

React and Give

For a few years now we’ve been helping charities on and off. I’m sure you remember last year, James Canter, James Childs and James Child’s friend, John, cycled to Paris and donated the money to SENSE, a charity helping people who are deafblind or have serious sensory impairments. This year James Canter and Paul P Kenny from Worldwide Business cycled and donated the money to Family Fund, a charity that provides grants to families raising disabled or seriously ill children.


We feel passionate about giving, so we now have taken our charity efforts to the next level with a program and a structure in place. To that extent, we have created a department to handle and schedule charity events that will take place across the group of companies (Reaction Group, Worldwide Business and Market Blast): the REACT (Raise awareness, Encourage, Aid, Contribute and Take a stand) Department, where we recognise, practice and celebrate giving.


Our aim is to have at least three sponsored events in the year across the companies and across the UK. So, for example in November we will choose a charity and a fundraising event to be carried out in February/March. After we have accomplished our goals for the February/March event and donated to the chosen charity, we will choose a cause to help out in June/July, and so forth. It’s worth mentioning that these events are not exclusive, we may choose to volunteer our time for a cause, for example, a beach clean-up, or help raise money in between these events, in which case we will discuss them and whomever wants to take part can do so.


So far, at Worldwide Business and Market Blast, we have introduced an online platform with mobile capabilities to provide free of charge translation services for Syrian refugees. We have translated an array of documents, from asylum application forms, to informative pamphlets for migrants, and providing transcription and subtitling for a charity’s fundraising video.

At Reaction Group, efforts have already started by scheduling engineers in their down time to pat test buildings free of charge for companies that cannot afford the service otherwise. The first to benefit from this has been Three Cs, a charity that supports people with learning disabilities and/or mental health challenges to have control over and choice about their lives and to contribute to the community as equal citizens. Thank you Michael for carrying this out for us!

Also, at the moment we are working on developing a work experience program that will benefit young people from deprived backgrounds. Within the group of companies, we feel strongly about inspiring and teaching future generations. We want to build self-confidence in young people, as well as helping them acquire skills to develop their creativity and interests. This programme will provide an opportunity for youngsters to explore possible career options, and, by exposing them to a working environment, we will be contributing to their learning of different tasks and experiences, which they can later transfer into a successful working life.

For everyone that wants to participate, the next event we have coming up is on December 18th for National Christmas Jumper Day. This was first created by Save The Children, who are this year pairing up with McMillan Cancer Research and Make-A-Wish-UK. We donated the proceeding to Save The Children last year, so this year we’re thinking in donating the money to some other equally worthy cause. I encourage everyone to part on this. Please share your ideas on to whom and how you would like this money to be donated this year. Remember, the crazier the jumper, the better!

For this department to work, we need to all push together. Please check our website for news and upcoming events. There is also a place within the website for everyone to leave your comments, propose fundraising events and nominate charities for us to help.

Sam Bailey

Newsletter report from Sam Bailey

A bit about me

Hi my name is Sam Bailey I joined the company in November 2014 and I am the Verification Officer. I came from a background in the MOD environment which was challenging to say the least and have found Reaction Group a welcome and needed change in my career. I have been asked to write something about myself so have decided to write about my home life and animals I have.


My Home life and animals!

I live with my partner, Sophie and our two border collies in a 3 bed house in the middle of the Dorset countryside around 5 miles outside Dorchester which is lovely in the summer months but occasionally in the winter months it gets rather cold especially as it is an old farmhands house, good job we have an open fire, and lots of coal and wood in the outhouse to keep us going.


We also have around 50 chickens which are mostly all different in colour some of which we bred ourselves from fertile eggs. The first year we got chickens we decided that looking after a dozen was too easy so decided to go and buy some chicks, we bought four in total and reared them up to adulthood, we had two silky bantams, one female one male, and then had two small grey bantams both of which were females, the second year of having chickens we decided to go back a stage and as the male silky bantam was fertilizing the eggs decided that we would borrow an incubator off one of our neighbors and incubate our own eggs, we put 50 eggs into the incubator and waited. The gestation period of a chicken egg is only 21 days and after 7 days you can tell whether they are starting to grow and are fertile or not, you can only do this by what’s called ‘candling’, for this I needed a ‘candling’ box so decided I would make one. We found that 42 out of the 50 eggs were fertile and had started to develop, the non- fertile eggs were discarded. Then it was a waiting game until around day 21…….



Day 21, finally we had got to the three-week period and we were eagerly awaiting them hatching however it wasn’t until day 22 that things started to happen which was about typical as it was a Sunday evening, I think we must have just sat there watching for around 2 hours as they started to ‘pip’ which means they started to break the shell, one by one they emerged and we went to bed with them still slowly emerging. The next morning the incubator (still on to keep them warm) was full of little bundles of fluff, the next move was to put them in a brooder that I had already made for them to move into and bought a special heat lamp, overall we had 29 chicks which was quite an achievement from 50 eggs.

‘Chickens R us!’

The next step was to feed them up and keep them warm at least for the first few months, so they were fed chick crumb to start with then when managing to drink and eat a little better moved onto a mixture of chick crumb and grower’s pellets, then when big enough moved them onto just grower’s pellets, by this time they were getting a little big for the brooder I had made so, Sophie and I decided to make a couple of triangle runs for them. We made two runs and split them into two groups, we still didn’t know at this point whether they were boys or girls. After around 4 months we started to feed them a mixture of growers pellets, mixed corn and layers pellets this encouraged them to grow still and get used to the food they would ultimately be fed.



It is a sad fact that in breeding chickens the male chicks are not wanted and do not even sell for £1 which yes we did try, we even tried giving them away to an auction but they were not interested. So… we have a farmer as a neighbor and asked if he could do the deed of showing us how to dispose of them humanely, which he did, overall there were 13 male chicks which meant we were down to 16 female chicks out of a total of 50 eggs in the first place. We did however keep one of our male chicks as he had very interesting markings, we also gave him a name, Geoffrey, see the pic.

So all in all the breeding was a success and they have grown into good chickens, all the females and Geoffrey are still alive and doing well. It was now the second winter and the chickens had gone off laying again (SO FRUSTRATING WHEN YOU FEED THEM AND THEY DON’T LAY) so we eagerly awaited the next summer, this summer. In June of this year I had been watching some of the chickens in with our black silky bantam cockerel and noticed they had got broody, in other words they were sitting on eggs so I left them to it, and hey presto after around three weeks we ended up with two little chicks from them, we took them up to the house and checked them over and they were fine so we put them back down the bottom of the garden with the mum, we then noticed that one of the eggs in with her had already been ‘pipped’ so took the egg out and checked it, we found that for some reason the chick inside was struggling to come out. We decided to give it a helping hand and very slowly broke pieces of the shell away to give it some extra space so that hopefully it would hatch itself, this wasn’t the case and we ended up helping it out very slowly completely out, for some reason that we still don’t know the egg was filled with what can only be described as little maggots so we cleaned the chick off and warmed it up under the heat lamp, this was a little black chick, it was very weak and was struggling to get to its feet.

After a week or so the small black chick had managed to get to its feet and was chirping away and eating so we thought that would be it and it would be fine. However, nature does things for a reason as we only found out when unfortunately, one of the chicks down the bottom fell into the water bowl and drowned. Also when the little black chick had got big enough we let it out with the other chickens and thought that would be fine, another reason nature does things for a reason is called natural selection ‘survival of the fittest’ this was only too true with this one as its legs decided once fully grown to splay which means it can’t walk properly so once again it was kinder to dispose of it which was gutting after all the effort we had put in to keep it alive and well. The one surviving chick did really well and is now out in the enclosure with the rest of the chickens.

During this last summer we also found another chicken sitting on eggs so left her to it as she was underneath one of the chicken houses, she was very protective from the start so couldn’t get underneath her to see how many eggs were under her. It came to August and they hatched so it was a case of lift up the chicken house and grab the chicks, there were 11 chicks in total so we started over again although this time kept them with their mum in one of the triangle runs we made with a shallow water bowl, these chicks are all still alive and kicking and are growing big already, we are unsure of how many are males but we are hopeful for at least 6 females. Soon after this we also found another 5 chicks so they are now in the other triangle run and also doing well.

So…that is the story of our chickens so far, I won’t go into the story of our ducks this time but I hope you are all well and enjoyed hearing about part of my life!


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Fire Safety

How to Prevent Electrical Fires

Electrical fires pose one of the more disastrous dangers involved in home ownership or property management. Fires caused by faulty or malfunctioning wiring can quickly get out of control, and can be difficult to extinguish as they often begin hidden behind walls. A bad electrical fire can even cause you to lose your entire home. Taking steps to learn how to prevent electrical fires will help you keep your home safe from this potential threat.

1. Avoid overloading your home’s electrical circuits. This is the easiest step you can take in reducing the risk of electrical fires, and it is also one of the most effective. Each circuit in your home is only designed to deliver so much electricity, and stressing these circuits by drawing too much power can cause the wires to spark or deteriorate.

  • The simplest way to avoid overloading circuits is by minimizing the amount of electrical equipment you plug into each outlet. In particular, minimize your use of power strips as much as possible, trying instead to limit the use of each outlet to the 2 plugs it provides.
  • If your home is very old, it may have very few circuits, as plug-in appliances and equipment were not as numerous when the home was built. A costly but effective measure to reduce stress on each circuit is to have an electrician run new wiring and install new circuit breakers on your electrical panel.

2. Replace or discard any frayed wiring. Frayed wiring, either in an appliance power cord or in your home’s wiring, poses a major risk of electrical fire. Appliance wiring in various gauges can be purchased inexpensively from hardware stores, and replacing frayed wiring on small appliances and electronics is a job well within the reach of an average DIYer.

  • While electrical tape can be used to provide temporary protection against arcing or melting of exposed conductors, it should not be used as a permanent solution.
3. Replace any old wiring in your home. Electrical wiring only has a lifespan of about 30 or 40 years, so homes older than that may be relying on deteriorated wiring. In addition, older wiring setups were not typically designed to handle today’s large electrical loads.

  • If you are relying heavily on extension cords or if your circuit breakers trip regularly, you are likely drawing more power than your old wiring can handle. Have an electrician inspect your home’s wiring as soon as possible.
  • Older homes may contain aluminum wiring, which poses a more significant risk of degrading and causing fires than copper wiring.
  • Having an electrician replace all or most of your home’s wiring is a very expensive upgrade, but will provide a virtual guarantee against electrical fires for decades.

Find out more about Electrical Safety and Fire Prevention here

Health and Safety

Top 10 Causes of House Fires

The chief causes of house fires are clear — and so are the ways to avoid them. Here’s what you need to know about preventing 10 common hazards.
Cooking Equipment
When a pot or pan overheats or splatters greases, it can take seconds to cause a fire. Stay in the kitchen when cooking, especially if using oil or high temperatures; most kitchen fires occur because people get distracted and leave their cooking unattended. Keep combustibles (e.g. oven mitts, dish towels, paper towels) away from heat sources.

Heating EquipmentHave your furnace inspected annually by a qualified technician, and your chimney cleaned and inspected annually. Keep portable heaters at least one metre away from anything that can burn (including curtains, furniture, and you), and don’t use your heaters to dry shoes or clothes. Install a carbon monoxide alarm to alert you to deadly carbon monoxide gas.

Careless SmokingMake the bedroom off-limits to smoking, and supervise smokers who may become drowsy (i.e. on medication, drinking) or forget to extinguish their cigarette. Use large, deep ashtrays; never place an ashtray on or near anything that will burn; and check furniture for fallen cigarettes/embers (a butt can smoulder for hours before causing furniture to burst into flames).

Electrical Equipment


Ensure the following:

1) Your electrical appliances don’t have loose or frayed cords/plugs

2) Your outlets aren’t overloaded with plugs

3) You’re not running electrical wires under rugs or heavy furniture

4) You’re not overusing an extension cord. Be careful about do-it-yourself electrical projects; many home fires are caused by improper installation, so use a licensed electrician.

CandlesKeep candles in a sturdy holder on a level surface, away from combustible materials and out of the reach of children or pets. Blow them out before leaving the room.

Children Playing with FireChildren cause fires out of curiosity (what happens when something burns) or mischief (they’re angry, upset or destructive, and fire is a major taboo to break). Kids may be involved in fire play if you find matches or lighters in their room/possession, smell sulphur in their room, and/or find toys or other personal effects that appear melted/singed.