Safety at Home: Children’s Room

In addition to ensuring that individual items are safe, it’s important to take an overall approach to safety in your child’s room.

The safety precautions that you take will depend upon the age of your children and your judgement of how sensible they are.  Bear in mind that the only thing you can predict about children is they’re unpredictable.

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Below are safety tips you can use to ensure your children’s room are safe;

  • Floors should be non-slip and not too hard underfoot.
  • Avoid placing floor or table lamps where they could get in the way of games, consoles and gadgets and be knocked over.
  • Use the current wattage of bulb in lamps and ensure that there are no  trailing flexes.
  • Make sure shelves are firmly fixed to the wall. Children will inevitably climb up them when trying to reach something.
  • Fasten any heavy, free-standing furniture that could be pulled over securely to the wall or floor. See the source image
  • Check electrical items regularly for fraying wires or other obvious faults and never overload a plug socket.
  • If the room is above the ground floor, ensure that windows can’t be opened far enough to climb out of ( though you should be able to exit them easily in an emergency) and don’t put anything under the windows that can be climbed upon.
  • Any glass at low level (in doors for example) should be safety glass or, at least, covered with shatter-resistant film.

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Property owner fined £260k by HSE for worker falling from height

Sir Robert McAlpine has been fined £260,000 after a worker fell 4.8m through an unprotected opening at a property owned by a director of the firm.

Mark Smith, 36, was attaching straps to a water tank so it could be moved in order to paint flooring at Stone Gappe Hall in Bradford, which is owned by group director Richard McAlpine, when the incident occurred.

Smith was hospitalised for nine days after fracturing his leg, ankle, kneecap, eye socket and nose, cutting his face, injuring his ribs and sustaining a concussion.

He continues to suffer from the psychological effect of the incident and has not been able to return to work since, according to a statement by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

An HSE investigation found that he fell through an opening that did not have fixed-edge protection.

Sir Robert McAlpine of Eaton Court, Maylands Avenue, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to single breaches of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

The company was fined £260,000 and ordered to pay £38,299 in costs.

HSE inspector Paul Thompson said: “Falls from height often result in life-changing or fatal injuries. In most cases, these incidents are needless and could be prevented by properly planning of the work to ensure that effective preventative and protective measures are in place such as edge protection or barriers built to the correct standard.

“This incident could have easily been prevented if the company had undertaken a thorough risk assessment and installed adequate edge protection around the opening to prevent falls.”

Source: Construction News

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Safety at Home: Carbon monoxide kills

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless, colourless, non-irritant gas, killing 50 people each year in the UK and making hundreds more seriously ill.

CO poisoning occurs when gas-fired appliances such as boilers, cookers and fires are not operating correctly. With research indicating that nearly a quarter of UK homes have one or more defective gas appliance, it is vital your appliances are checked regularly.

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If your boiler is more than 10 years old or has been infrequently serviced in the past, you really should get it checked by a Gas safe registered engineer. Fitting a European standard certified audible carbon monoxide alarm is a vital second line of defence after having  your appliances safety checked. It is essential that your alarm is marked with the EN50291 safety standard and with the CE mark.

Vital signs and symptoms to look out for CO poisoning include:

  • Sooting and staining on or around your gas boiler or other gas appliances.
  • Excessive condensation in the room where an appliance is installed.
  • A lazy, yellow-orange gas flame instead of blue.
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea and can be mistaken for flu, a virus and even food poisoning.
  • Breathlessness
  • Lost of consciousness

For more information on carbon monoxide poisoning visit

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Daily false alarm almost cause death in Bolton student flat fire

A row has broken out over fire alarms after a blaze forced the evacuation of a block of student accommodation.

Residents fled The Cube in Bolton after the fire on Friday, which was tackled by up to 200 firefighters for more than nine hours.

Two were treated at the scene, including one who was rescued by crews using an aerial platform, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue said.

Bolton fire

One resident said many were confused as fire alarms go off “almost every day”

Resident Afnan Gohar said: “The fire alarms go off almost every day so we just thought this was just another false alarm.

“We didn’t take notice of it until a girl came running and screamed, telling us to get out and we didn’t believe it at first.”

Shannon Parker, who also lives in the building, said: “I heard the fire alarm going off but it kept on going off so I just thought it was a drill at first, until one of my flatmates shouted down the corridor that it was a real fire.

“So I ran out the flat as quickly as I could and I saw that it was one of the flats below mine and we went out by the fire exit.”

Source: BBC News

Staying safe around gas appliances

Gas appliances are very important in heating, cooking and lighting but needs to be used in a safe manner to prevent unsafe and dangerous occurrence. The common used gas appliance in the UK are boilers, cookers and gas fires.

EPC BB10 1PT electric meter.JPGFour Steps you can take to protect your home or building from gas related hazards

  1. Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm

carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas. It is difficult to detect because it has no colour, taste or smell. It is a byproduct of incomplete burning of fuels like gas, coal, wood and charcoal indoor due to lack of oxygen required for complete combustion.

Breathing in carbon monoxide can kill you. Even in less serious cases, it can lead to long-term health problems. Some of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are: Feeling short of breath, Mild nausea, confusion, feeling extremely tired, mild headaches, abdominal pains, sore throat and a dry cough.

An audible carbon monoxide alarm works like a smoke alarm: you can fit one to your ceiling and it will go off if it detects carbon monoxide. This can be a life safer – they normally cost between £20 and £45

2. Have your gas appliances – Boiler, fire, heater and cooker checked regularly by a Gas safe registered engineer

If you think a gas appliance might not be working properly, stop using it straightaway and get it checked by a qualified gas safe engineer

13 Hazel Avenue boiler

3. Don’t block ventilation

To stay safe always ensure adequate ventilation is maintained and do not block ventilation specially when using gas appliances. In the event of gas leak or carbon monoxide poisoning open doors and windows to let air circulate.

Also learn to spot the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and leak

4. What to do if you think you’ve got a gas leak

  • Put out any naked flames including cigarettes
  • Don’t switch any electrical appliances on or off including light switches
  • Open doors and windows to let air circulate
  • Turn off any gas appliance you think might be causing the leak
  • Keep people away from the area
  • Turn off your gas meter if it is safe to do so

If you smell gas or you need to report a gas explosion or fire in the UK – call the National Gas Emergency Services helpline straightaway free on 080011999.

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