- Working smoke alarms
Ensure your home has smoke alarms that are correctly positioned, operational, regularly tested and compliant. Early warning systems can save lives and your home should a fire break out.
- Keep your stove and oven areas clear
Never leave anything flammable near hot surfaces in the kitchen, especially your stove and oven spaces. Keep tea towels, cleaning cloths, placemats, curtains and cookbooks all well away from this zone. Try to avoid resting anything on hotplates even when they are turned off.
- Check electrical cords
Frayed and broken charging and electrical cords can easily become a hazard as they heat up. Ensure you replace or remove immediately. Try to avoid charging phones and devices on material surfaces – again the charging packs and cords can heat up and pose a fire risk.
- Keep fire extinguishers and blankets handy
Ensure you keep an in-date fire extinguisher and a fire blanket in handy places such as the kitchen. Make sure everyone in your home knows where they are located and remove any obstructions that make them hard to reach in an emergency.
- Store flammable products safely
Store your household cleaners and beauty products away from heat to avoid combustion. Cool, dark cupboards with constant temperatures are ideal. This also applies to products stored in your garage and shed. Metal spaces heat up far quicker and can pose a real risk if not managed with care.
- Be cautious with flames
When using candles, diffusers, fireplaces, BBQs and fire-pits make sure you keep an eye on them at all times. It is also a good idea to keep any flammable items well away from these areas and extinguish before going to bed or leaving the room/area.
- When you’re asleep you won’t smell smoke from a fire
- Electrical appliances cause 40% of house fires
- You are twice as likely to die in a house fire without a working smoke alarm
- The most common house fire cause is from unattended cooking followed by faulty electrical appliances, heaters, cigarettes and candles
- Many household fires are caused by someone making a mistake – a moment of carelessness, forgetfulness or neglect
- Children under five and people aged 65 years and over are twice as likely to get caught in a house fire
- Many people do not have a fire safety escape plan, fire extinguisher or blanket for use in case of an emergency
It is important that in the event of a fire (or emergency) you have a safety checklist and escape plan. Take the time to put both in place with your family, friends or boarders – it could potentially save a life.
A home fire safety checklist consists of a to-do list to prevent your home from catching on fire. These measures should be applied on a daily basis to help reduce the risk overall. The to-do list may include items such as times to regularly clean, dust, check and maintain smoke alarms throughout the home. It may also note general safety actions such as keeping flammable items away from heat sources, being present when there are lit flames (candles, fires, BBQs etc.), safe storage of combustible goods and good practices in the kitchen when cooking and cleaning.
In just two minutes, a fire can become lift-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames. Scary isn’t it! This doesn’t give you much time to think about how to get yourself or family member to safety. Taking the time to an escape plan in place with your family, friends or boarders could potentially save a life.
An Escape Plan will ensure you know the best escape locations around your home with an active course of action should you become trapped by fire. When designing an escape plan, everyone in the home should be included. Make sure everyone knows the plan of escape as well as where to meet should you become separated during a fire emergency.
You should consider escape locations, meeting places and the best times to call for help. This plan can also be used for other emergency situations. If you have children, helping them know what to do can assist in managing panic and fear should the worst ever happen.
How do you make a fire plan? Here are a few elements to consider when making a plan:
- Draw a floor plan so you can review ways to escape from each room
- Keep door and window keys easily accessible
- Try to keep all exits clear
- Decide on a meeting point that is a safe distance from the house (letterbox, clothesline, at a neighbours home, a nearby street sign)
- Remind everyone that when you get out – you stay out. Never return into a burning building
- Practice! It is essential that everyone in the household knows what to do in the event of a Fire.
And remember to get down low, as smoke can cause damage to the lungs and death. If your clothes catch on fire, STOP, DROP and ROLL.
A scary statistic has been shared via a news article about Adelaide home owners not getting compliant on smoke alarms. New research shows that 1 in 5 homes in South Australia are not following the law by failing to install smoke alarms in their properties.
There are so many cases where smoke alarms have saved lives. In many of instances it alerted them from their slumber to exit the house safely. In other incidences, occupants simple had no idea that a fire has even start in their property until the smoke alarm sounds.
Shockingly, last year 98 out of 528 house fires did not have smoke alarms installed at their property, another 2 per cent had working smoke alarms that were disabled.
Not only do smoke alarms keep loved ones safe by giving you that vital time to jump in to action, smoke alarms are a necessary investment to help protect your livelihood.
If your curious about what your child/children would do if faced with a house fire, put them to the test! Do you think you’ll like the outcome?
It’s important for children to learn about the dangers of fire, in all circumstances. There are many different ways to bring this to a child’s attention. Information is power, if we can teach children what to do in these situations, they will be able to protect themselves if you are separated.
Here are some essential points:
- First things first, Teach them your escape plan. Children can be overwhelmed with fear, a step by step plan of what to do is key for a child’s survival when faced with uncommon happenings.
- Practice makes perfect, it’s not enough to talk about it once. Children’s brains are contently growing with new information. Ideally hanging up your escape plan and practising the plan at least twice a year.
- When there’s no way out. In the instance of getting trapped by fire, the most important thing to remember is to close the door. Put bedding or cloth under the door to block off any smoke that will seep through.
- Wait for help, Firefighters have breathing mask that can look intimidating to children. Make sure that they know what the firefighter gear looks like, so they don’t get scared and hide.
- Stop, drop and roll. A key point to save your life, when caught on fire. Most kids first instincts will be to run away which will only make it worse.
- Once out stay out – Call 000 – stay safe. Your life can’t be replaced.
In Australia it’s common to find a BBQ in many backyards. Nothing beats the taste, but it is important to ensure consideration goes into keeping your home safe.
- Never use gas cylinders indoors or in confined spaces
- Ensure the hose connection and hose are on tight with no leaks (never test for a leak with a flame – use soapy water instead)
- Dispose of out dated or empty gas cylinders safely
- Keep BBQs clean to reduce fire hazards especially from left over fat and grease
- An adult should be in charge of a lit BBQ at all times
- Make sure you turn your BBQ off properly after use – never leave it turned on while unattended