In the event of a fire, having too many possessions can lead to serious consequences. Highly combustible items can cause a fire to spread faster. Exit routes may become blocked and prevent occupants from escaping in an emergency and firefighters from fighting the fire.
- Firstly, make sure you have a working smoke alarm to warn you in case of fire.
- Try and clear at least one escape route so that you can get out of your house in case of a fire.
- Do not stack items and ensure that your possessions are on stable surfaces so they cannot topple over.
- Keep your cooking area clear – do not store items on top of your cooker, microwave or other electrical items.
- Avoid using candles or portable heaters. They can easily set fire to nearby items.
- Be careful of items covering up lamps or other small electrical items.
- Do not store gas cylinders in your home as they are a serious hazard during a fire.
- If you smoke, use a proper ashtray that won’t burn and put it on a flat, stable surface so that it can’t tip over easily. Don’t leave your lit cigarettes unattended. Be careful of items that can fall onto your ashtray.
- In the event of a fire, do not attempt to put it out yourself – get out, stay out and call 999.
- Do not stop on your way out to collect possessions and do not go back inside once you have escaped.
More than just clutter?
If hoarding or clutter has become a problem, you can get help and advice from Help for Hoarders.