Child Safety - Fire Safety at Home

House fires can cause devastation and loss of life. Make sure your family is protected - Don't delay! Take action today:

The 4 Golden Rules of Fire Safety
  • Install working smoke alarms and test them regularly
  • Make a fire escape plan and practice it often
  • Check for fire dangers in your home and correct them
  • Carry out a 'last thing at night routine' - make closing all doors part of this routine. Closing interior doors when going to bed at night is vital to saving lives if you have a fire.... this video demonstrates it perfectly.

For more information read, Fire Safety in the Home

Smoke alarms and fire blankets/extinguishers
  • You need working smoke alarms in your house:
    • Working smoke alarms will warn you if there is a fire. Remember:Your sense of smell does not work when you are asleep and smoke can put you in a deeper sleep.Be Fire Safe
    • Test them once a week and replace batteries immediately if required – do not put it off.
    • Smoke alarms may be tested by pressing the test button with the handle tip of a floor brush.
    • Replace the batteries when they are not working and once a year in standard alarms, or as soon as you hear the warning beep.
    • If you have 10 year smoke alarms, you need to replace the whole alarm after 10 years.
    • If someone in the home is deaf, or has impaired hearing, they may not hear an audible warning from a smoke alarm, e.g. if not wearing a hearing aid at night. There are smoke alarm systems on the market that use strobe lights or vibrating pads to give alert of danger from fire. These offer improved warning for people who may have difficulty hearing a smoke alarm with audible warning.
    • Get at least one smoke alarm for each floor in the home. Fit them between the sleeping areas and the kitchen & living rooms – one in the hallway at ground floor, and one at each upper level, in the landing. For an enhanced level of protection, consideration may also be given to fitting alarms in living rooms and kitchen, in bedrooms used by vulnerable people, or in bedrooms where there is a television or large electrical appliance (such as a computer). (Heat alarms may be considered where fumes from cooking or smoke from cigarettes or open fires could lead to unwanted alarms.)
    • Position smoke alarms at ceiling level in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Vacuum the smoke alarms regularly and wipe the cover. If they get clogged with dust they may not work properly.
  • Fire extinguishers and fire blankets are useful in a home setting, if you have them, make sure they are easy to get at and that you know how to use them. 
  • But remember: only attempt to put out a fire yourself if it is safe for you to do so.
Fire escape plan
  • Escape PlanMake a fire escape plan and practice it often with your family.
  • Never put yourself in danger to fight a fire.
  • In the event of a fire:
    • Get out
    • Get the fire brigade out - ring 112 or 999
    • Stay out
Stoves, fires, heaters, barbecues etc
  • Always guard open fires with a sparkguard and a fireguard (secured to the wall).
  • Guard stoves and heaters with a fire guard which is secured to the wall.Guard Fires and Stoves
  • Never place anything on top of a fireguard.
  • Learn about Carbon Monoxide poisoning and how to prevent it.
  • Try to buy child’s clothing made of low risk fire material.
  • Keep heaters away from curtains and blinds.
  • Chip pans are a fire risk - consider a different method of cooking.
  • Keep children well away from barbecues - devastating burn injuries can occur in seconds.
Candles, lighters, matches, cigarettes
  • Keep lit candles out of reach of children.Candles, lighters, matches
  • Never leave burning candles unattended.
  • Always supervise children in a room where candles are lit.
  • Keep matches, cigarette lighters etc out of sight and reach of children.
  • Keep candles away from curtains and blinds.
  • Remember, the points above apply to anything with a flame, including oil/fragrance burners, incense sticks etc.
Electrical appliances
  • Switch off and plug out electrical equipment when not in use.
  • Use short flexes on electrical equipment where possible.
  • Keep all electrical equipment (incl hairdryers, straighteners, irons etc) and flexes out of reach of children.
  • Do not use damaged electric blankets - check electric blankets (and their flexes) regularly for signs of wear and tear.Do not overload sockets
  • Do not use electric blankets at all on children’s beds.
  • Do not overload sockets.
  • Do not use damaged electrical appliances.
  • Do not leave mobile phones etc charging when you go to bed or go out.
  • Never leave your child alone on a farm - see child safety on the farm.
Cars and other motor vehicles
  • Infants or young children should never be left unattended in a motor vehicle.
  • A variety of hazards can arise, even if you are absent for a short duration.
  • Such hazards include an outbreak of fire, breathing problems on warm days and accidental trapping of children in electronically operated windows.
  • Always remove the ignition key when the vehicle is not in use.
Find out more

Fire Safety at Home

Emergency Numbers in Ireland - 112 or 999

Emergency - 112 or 999In an emergency the "blue light" services - Garda Síochána, ambulance, fire and Irish Coast Guard - can be contacted by dialling 112 or 999.

  • Going on holidays? Remember 112 is the one emergency number that works anywhere in Europe.
  • Find out more at


 Burns and Scalds



Cool it

If the burn or scald is above the neck, get immediate medical help from your Emergency Department.  Any burns/scalds above the neck could affect breathing or vision.

If other areas are affected, still plan to seek medical attention for your child, but it is safe and a good idea to take a few minutes to apply basic first aid at home:

  • Cool the burned or scalded area immediately - run cool water over it for 20 minutes. This is so important - it will help with pain and can reduce the risk of scarring and need for surgery.  Never use ice.
  • If possible, remove clothes, nappies or jewellery as burnt skin can swell. But do not remove anything which has become stuck to the skin.
  • If a piece of clothing is stuck to skin do not remove it, cut around it.
  • Do not place any ice, fats, ointments or creams on the burn.  Greasy substances will just keep the heat in and cause further damage.
  • Do not place adhesive (sticky) dressings or plasters on the burn.
  • Do not pop any blisters at home - blisters are the body's way of preventing skin infection.
Cover it

If the injury is likely to rub against objects, you may wish to cover the wound - use a clean non-fluffy cloth or clean cling-film.

A clean plastic bag may also be used if the burn is on the hand.  Do not wrap anything tightly around the wound.

Take to hospital

50 cent coinCall your GP or 999/112 for help, especially if:

  • It's an infant or small child who has been burned/scalded
  • If the burnt area is larger than a 50c coin
  • If the burn is on the face, hands or genitalia

Most unintentional injuries (often called accidents) can be prevented:

Remember the key message where child safety is concerned -
Watch your child at all times, as children do not understand danger

Go to:


Most unintentional injuries (often called accidents) can be prevented:

Remember the key message where child safety is concerned -
Watch your child at all times, as children do not understand danger

Go to: