In the event of a fire, having too many possessions can lead to serious consequences. Highly combustible items can cause a fire to spread faster. Exit routes may become blocked and prevent occupants from escaping in an emergency and firefighters from fighting the fire.

Hoarding & Clutter
Hoarding and Clutter

Top Tips

  • Firstly, make sure you have a working smoke alarm to warn you in case of fire. Try and clear at least one escape route so that you can get out of your house in case of a fire.
  • Do not stack items and ensure that your possessions are on stable surfaces so they cannot topple over.
  • Keep your cooking area clear – do not store items on top of your cooker, microwave or other electrical items.
  • Avoid using candles or portable heaters. They can easily set fire to nearby items. Be careful of items covering up lamps or other small electrical items.
  • Do not store gas cylinders in your home as they are a serious hazard during a fire.
  • If you smoke, use a proper ashtray that won’t burn and put it on a flat, stable surface so that it can’t tip over easily. Don’t leave your lit cigarettes unattended. Be careful of items that can fall onto your ashtray.
  • In the event of a fire, do not attempt to put it out yourself Get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Do not stop on your way out to collect possessions and do not go back inside once you have escaped.

More than just clutter?

If hoarding or clutter has become a problem, you can get help and advice from Help for Hoarders.

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