When you’re looking to save money, it can be tempting to use things you already own differently, or to buy the cheapest option without a second thought. Here are some areas where cutting costs can put you and your family in danger:
- Using camping stoves or barbecues indoors is really dangerous. They are designed to be used outside only, and they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning – even if you have the doors and windows open. There are safer ways to cook more cheaply, click here for more.
- It’s the same with patio heaters, they are only suitable to use outside. There are safer ways to heat your home more cheaply, click here for more.
- Candles are a cheap way of providing light in a room, but please be really careful if you do this. You should never leave candles unattended; secure them in fire-resistant holders, and keep them well away from curtains and other furnishings. More advice is here: dwfire.org.uk/candles
- It may be tempting to run washing machines, tumble dryers or dishwashers overnight, when the energy price is low. However, this carries a risk as everyone will be asleep should a fire start. Make sure you have working smoke detectors, and try to only use these appliances when someone is on hand to raise the alarm if need be. More advice is here: dwfire.org.uk/tumble-dryers-washing-machines
- Not getting your boiler serviced could be a false economy; if it’s not working as well as it could, it will cost you more money in the long run, plus faults could lead to dangerous carbon monoxide issues. More advice on staying safe from carbon monoxide is here: dwfire.org.uk/carbon-monoxide
- Never stockpile petrol. Storing petrol is actually subject to strict legislation, as it is so flammable and so dangerous. dwfire.org.uk/safe-storage-of-petrol
There are a lot of products on sale aimed at helping keep warm, some of which are mains-powered, and some of which use a USB. Only ever buy from a reputable retailer and, where possible, a known manufacturer – counterfeit or cheap, imported items are often made with poor quality components that don’t meet UK safety regulations and could cause injury, electric shocks and even fires. Spending a bit more up front will save you so much more over time.
Similarly, if you need to replace a battery charger for an existing device, it’s safest to buy from the manufacturer. Cheap versions, or a charger not designed for the device, can cause a power surge – and that can start a fire. Follow the links for more specific advice:
Smokers should also resist buying cheap, imported cigarettes as these carry a higher risk of starting a fire – see here for more information.