Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Fire safety in your home

Protect yourself and your home against the risk of fire.

We are all still learning lessons from the awful Grenfell Disaster in 2017 and although we do not have high rise housing like the kind in Grenfell, we all still need to take time to protect ourselves, our homes and our communities from the danger of fire. 

The Scottish Government has advised that all homes in Scotland should have:

  • One smoke alarm in the room most frequently used for general daytime living purposes
  • One smoke alarm in every hallway or landing
  • One heat alarm in every kitchen

All alarms should be ceiling mounted and where possible should all be interlinked. 

Having an interlinked system means you will be alerted immediately, no matter which room the alarm is triggered – increasing your chances to escape. 

Scottish Fire and Rescue can provide free home fire safety visits, offering advice and guidance on fire safety and can fit smoke alarms free of charge if your home requires them. If you want  to know more call 0800 0731 999 or text “FIRE” to 80800 from your mobile or visit the  Scottish Fire and Rescue website for more information on fire safety.

General cooking

  • Make sure your home has working smoke alarms. Consider fitting a heat alarm in your kitchen
  • Make sure your cooker is or has been fitted properly by a qualified fitter
  • Keep your oven, cooker and grill clean and make sure there’s no fat on it
  • Keep tea towels, cloths and kitchen paper away from the cooker
  • Keep fats and oils away from the cooker
  • Cook with handles turned to the side to avoid them spilling
  • Use a flameless lighter on gas cookers instead of matches or a lighter

You should never:

  • Hang or dry clothing and towels on or near the cooker
  • Leave your cooker, grill or oven on when you go out – even on a timer
  • Leave electrical wires or cords near the cooker
  • Keep anything on top of an eye-level grill
  • Put anything metal in your microwave – even tin foil

Chip pans and deep-frying

Modern electric deep fat fryers are much safer than traditional chip pans as they have a safety switch that cuts them off to stop them overheating and catching fire.

Try not to use a traditional chip pan if you can because there's always a high risk of fire. If you do use a traditional chip pan, follow our safety advice:

  • Only ever fill one third full
  • Turn the handle to the side – but not over any of the other cooker rings
  • Fry in small amounts – overfilling could cause spills
  • Make sure food going in it is dry, not dripping wet or covered in ice.

You should never:

  • Deep fry when you’ve been drinking alcohol or taking drugs or if you are feeling tired
  • Leave the pan alone - It only takes a second for a fire to start

Other kitchen appliances

Washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers have powerful parts that heat up, any of which could start a fire if something goes wrong. Follow our safety advice:

  • Always switch appliances off at the wall before going to bed or going out
  • Always plug straight into a wall socket and avoid adaptors for lots of plugs as they can result in electricity overloads
  • Never Leave them running when going out or to bed

Open fires and stoves

  • Keep all furniture at least three feet away from your fire
  • Put the fire guard up if you feel sleepy
  • Let fires burn down before going to bed – and don’t forget to put the guard up
  • Keep the guard up at all times if you have children or pets
  • Have your chimney swept at least once a year - twice if you use it lots
  • Check your hearth regularly – if it’s cracked, have it fixed professionally

You should never:

  • Leave a lit fire unattended without a fireguard
  • Use flammable liquids like barbecue lighter fuel to light a fire
  • Throw flammable liquids or spray cans onto the fire
  • Use building or packing timber as firewood – it’s very sparky
  • Dry clothes over or in front of the fire – they could catch light
  • Place mirrors over the fire – people stand too close and risk setting clothes on fire

For stoves, you should also:

  • Replace any cracked door glass or casings immediately
  • Always use certified fire glass in stove doors
  • Use the right type of fuel (using coal in wood stoves can damage them)
  • Be careful not to leave flammable items like clothes and paper on top of the stove

Fire safety doors and communal entries

Flat entrance fire doors leading to a shared or communal area are required to provide fire and smoke protection to stop a fire inside a flat spreading to the communal parts and preventing residents from escaping.

A fire door can only prevent fire and smoke spreading throughout the building if, the door, door seals and any self-closing devices are working effectively.

Report faulty doors

If you notice any damage:

  • to the door
  • the door seals, or if
  • the door doesn’t fully close under the action of its door closer

you must act immediately.

Council tenants should report repairs to our housing repairs helpline. Private tenants should advise their landlord and/or the owner of the property.

Visit  Scottish Fire and Rescue's website for communal entry safety tips information.

UPVC doors

Homeowners please note; UPVC doors are not currently accepted as fire doors.

If you have replaced your flat entrance door with a UPVC door then the door does not meet current fire safety standards and should be replaced with a door that will provide appropriate fire and smoke protection as soon as possible.

For further guidance please contact our Building Standards Service.

Contact Information

Housing Repairs
Holmquarry House
1b Holmquarry Road
Kilmarnock
KA1 4DA
Telephone: 01563 555555
Emergency Helpline: 0345 724 0000 (local rate)
Housing Customer Liaison
Civic Centre North
John Dickie Street
Kilmarnock
East Ayrshire
KA1 1HW
Telephone: 01563 554400
Building Standards
Telephone: 01563 576790