Living room safety

How to stay safe in the living room.

Stay safe - living room

The most important thing you can do to keep yourself safe at home is arrange a home fire safety visit. Call 0800 0731 999 to set one up. It’s free, easy – and could save your life. If you need any help, talk to your housing officer.

Make sure you have a working smoke alarm too. If you don’t, phone GHA on 0800 479 7979. Furniture, cushions, fires, heaters, TVs and stereos can all be potential fire hazards.

Follow our advice about staying safe in the living room:

Electrical equipment

Every two weeks a TV in Scotland starts a house fire. This is dangerous at any time – but if you’re asleep, it could be fatal.

Make sure all electric equipment is switched off at the wall when you leave the house or go to bed.

Use a multi-way bar extension lead rather than a block adaptor. Only use one socket extension lead per socket and never plug an extension lead into another extension lead.


Older soft furniture can catch fire more easily and is often filled with foam that create dangerous fumes when on fire.

Furniture made before 1988 is unlikely to be fire resistant. Think about changing older chairs or having them re-covered with modern material that doesn’t burn as easily.  Chair covers can help increase fire resistance, so repair holes or worn areas.


In Scotland, most fatal fires are started by smoking. You can cut the chances of this happening to you.

Put it out - right out! Cigarette ends can smoulder for ages if not put out properly.

  • Never leave a cigarette unattended
  • Stub cigarettes out properly in an ashtray – put a little water at the bottom of the ashtray
  • Empty and clean your ashtray regularly
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children
  • Buy safety matches (ones that only strike on the box)
  • Don’t throw used matches straight in the bin - put them in an ashtray.
  • Many fires started by cigarettes happen to people who have been drinking and are sleepy.

Many fires started by cigarettes happen to people who have been drinking and are sleepy.

  • Take extra care if you’ve been drinking alcohol
  • Don’t smoke in your chair if you’ve been drinking or you’re sleepy
  • If you do feel sleepy, smoke outside or at a window.


  • Always put a candle in a proper candlestick holder.
  • Put candlestick holders on a flat, heat-resistant surface – never on cushions or plastic – and make sure they don’t get knocked over.
  • Keep candles clear of clothes and curtains.
  • Always put candles out properly before leaving the room and never leave a lit candle alone – even for a few seconds.
  • Don’t use candles if you’ve been drinking alcohol or feel sleepy.
  • Treat tea lights and incense sticks the same as candles.