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In light of public safety advice to stay home in all circumstances except for certain limited exceptions, the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM) urges the public to be particularly mindful of fire safety in the home.

Households have been asked to “Shine Your Light” this weekend Saturday 11th April 2020 as a show of solidarity with front-line workers, the sick, and anyone affected by COVID-19. The NDFEM is supportive of this initiative and the sentiment behind it but stresses the importance that is not marred by the often devastating effects of household fires. Householders should avoid hazards such as candles and high-temperature lamps near flammable items (e.g. curtains, furnishings). Instead battery operated candles, LED lights, torches, mobile phone lights and similar should be used. If a candle is used, a non-combustible candle holder must be utilised and they should never be left unattended.

Unfortunately, every year in Ireland people tragically lose their lives as a result of fire. House fires account for the vast majority of these fatal fires. Both the very young and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Remember too that most people, who die in fires, do so as a result of smoke inhalation- something that can take as little as 3 minutes. All of this makes it absolutely vital that safe practices are adhered to at all times. Remember the STOP Fire steps:

SSmoke AlarmsHave at least one on every floor, vacuum/sweep regularly.
TTest WeeklyTest your smoke alarms weekly. Replace the battery every year or as soon as the warning beep sounds.
OObvious DangersPerform a “Routine Fire Safety Check” looking for hazards in your home.
PPlan your EscapeHave an “Evacuation Plan” with at least 2 exit routes and practice it regularly. Keep access routes clear and have keys at the ready.


All family members, relatives and friends of the vulnerable are asked to ensure they are protected against the risk of fire during this unprecedented time while respecting physical distancing and cocooning requirements.

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