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Help with hoarding

Last updated  22 November 2018

It is estimated that there are over 7,000 hoarders in Bedfordshire. Storing too many possessions in and around your home can increase the chance of a fire breaking out and intensify the ferocity of the flames. The clutter caused by hoarding can seriously reduce your chance of escaping from your home during a fire and may make it more difficult to rescue you. It also increases the risk to Firefighters who enter the property to fight the fire.

 Image of a cluttered living room due to hoarding

Hoarding also increases the risk of slips and trips and someone being trapped by falling items. Furniture and ceilings could even collapse under the extra weight piled upon them.

Follow these tips to help you reduce risks in your home

  • The more possessions you have the more there is to burn.  Reduce what you have as part of a regular clearance session;
  • Be careful when using fan or gas heaters, never leave them unattended or close to anything flammable;
  • Leave space around microwave ovens, or any appliance with an air vent, to allow air to circulate;
  • Never leave candles unattended – always put them in a heat resistant holder.  Keep them away from anything  flammable.  As an alternative to conventional candles try a battery operated candle;
  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms, test them once a week. Every second counts – the earlier you are warned the more chance you have of surviving;
  • Keep cooking areas clean and tidy;
  • Always have clear entrances, exits and pathways to your home that you can easily pass through without the need to move anything out of the way;
  • Always know where your door and window keys are – keep in a safe accessible place;
  • Items in your home should be fixed securely – they can become dislodged easily causing additional dangers;
  • Recyclable packages should be recycled;
  • Eliminate possible sources of ignition;
  • Extinguish cigarettes properly using an ash tray.

 

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