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Some easy safety tips

The below is a list of simple safety tips that can easily be carried out with little or no cost.

Bullet pointStore heavier items below shoulder height to prevent things falling onto people and to prevent people over-stretching as they reach up to get things.

Bullet pointChairs should not be stacked too high otherwise they might topple or people might try to carry too many at once, leading to injuries.  Be mindful of children who might see a stack of chairs as if it were a climbing frame.

Bullet pointTake care that trailing cables do not become a trip hazard.  Use 'gaffer tape' or cable protectors or, if possible, avoid running the cable in the first place.  Avoid using extensions by installing more sockets where they are needed.

Bullet pointKeep cleaning chemicals and other substances in a locked cupboard to prevent children getting access to them.  Store only those chemicals which are actually used and try to limit the quantity stored. 

Bullet pointCertain equipment that you might use needs to be maintained properly and stored securely, such as lawnmowers, ladders and other maintenance tools.  Some equipment needs to be formally inspected and checked by a competent person on a routine basis, such as lifts.

Bullet pointWet flooring can be slippery so clean up any spillage immediately and, if required, display a sign when the floor is wet (such as the free standing ones used in supermarkets).

Bullet pointTake care with sharp objects, such as kitchen knives, ensuring that they are properly stored and kept out of the reach of children.  Many Churches and Places of Worship do not allow children to be unacompanied in kitchen areas.

Bullet pointEnsure that electrical appliances are safe by periodically inspecting the plug, flex and appliance for damage, or arranging it to be Portable Appliance Tested.  Do not use anything that is damaged or defective.

Bullet pointBe cautions of broken glass and ceramics, ensuring that anything broken gets promptly and effectively cleaned up, so that the sharp edges are covered to prevent injuries.

Bullet pointEnsure that lighting is adequate, especially along exit routes, stairs and other circulation spaces.  Emergency lighting might be needed if the premises are used at night or if there is no natural light from windows.

Bullet pointUse candles carefully, making sure that the candle is stable, in a flameproof holder and is not too close to anything that could catch fire, including flower displays and decorations.  Take care with glass candle holders as these could break or shatter if they come into contact with the hot flame or wax.

Bullet pointDon't store anything close to boilers or other heat-producing equipment.  Make sure portable heaters have fully cooled before moving and don't use portable heaters in exit routes owing to the fire risk.

Bullet pointBalconies and other high-up areas need suitable handrails or balustrades to prevent people falling.  Restricting hinges or locks could be fitted onto any window above ground level if there is a risk that people might fall.

Bullet pointTake care when moving items not to try to carry too much at once and make sure that you lift and carry correctly.  Manual handling issues lead to a large number of injuries each year, including back pain.

Bullet pointSecure areas of the building where people should not be permitted (such as towers and boiler rooms).  Ensure that the premises are generally secure as this helps to reduce the arson risk.

Bullet pointBe mindful of tools and equipment that are noisy, such as lawnmowers and strimmers.  Try to choose quieter equipment.  If this is not possible, provide suitable hearing protection for the people that use the tools.

Bullet pointAvoid storing bins and rubbish directly outside the building.  A fire could start here and quickly spread to the rest of the building.  Rubbish burns easily and is an easy target for arsonists.

Bullet pointAlways make sure that exits and fire exits are clear of obstructions and can be opened by anyone in the building without a key.  Exits need to be properly marked with signs, and building occupants should be made aware of the emergency procedures that are in place (a simple 'fire action' poster will suffice for most situations).

Bullet pointDon't prop open self-closing fire doors because these doors are designed to limit the spread of smoke and flame in the building should there be a fire.  Fire extinguishers need to be kept in their allocated space and not used to hold open doors.

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