With the heaters and electric blankets packed away for another season, the only fire on your mind is probably the braai…

However, every home should have a few basic precautions in place against fire and accidents.

This goes double if you use gas for cooking or lighting, have young kids in the home, or you live in an older house.

Many fires are the result of faulty wiring, so making sure your home electrical wiring is 100%, avoiding ‘makeshift’ arrangements of wires and plugs, and checking for signs of pest and rodent infestation are all key.

While you’re there, look for obvious fire hazards like paraffin lamps and candles near curtains, draughts pushing flames where you don’t expect them, or poor stove ventilation.

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A fire extinguisher for the kitchen (at minimum) and smoke alarms in every room are a cheap way to ensure you’re always safe. But just having an extinguisher isn’t enough.

Be sure to regularly check that it is easy to access, its safety seals are intact, the pressure gauge shows as it should, and that there’s been no damage to the container. Pay attention to ‘use by’ dates too.

A little bit of regular maintenance can save a lot of heartache, so despite the warm weather, be sure your fire protections are in place.