How To Prevent House Fires

Preventable house fires are unfortunately all too common in Australia, and can happen to any of us. It’s vital to know what you should do to prevent a fire in your home, and what to do in case you need to leave quickly, especially if you’re going to need some extra help.

Always be alert

Even if you don’t live in a bushfire prone area, house fires can happen easily and without warning, so it’s important to always be prepared. Faulty electrical appliances, leaving cooking unattended, heaters, and even candles and cigarettes are all common causes of house fires.

Some simple things you can do to prevent house fires include avoid smoking inside the home (never smoke in bed), make sure appliances are switched off at the wall when not in use, and avoid overloading power points.

Check your fire alarms

Well-maintained fire alarms or smoke detectors can save your life. Make sure your fire alarms are working. They should be checked every month, and cleaned every 6 months, with batteries replaced yearly.

If you have hearing issues or are worried you might sleep through a smoke alarm, there are a few other options you can put in place. You can have special smoke alarms installed that use other alerts such as strobe lighting, or a vibrating pad that can be placed under your pillow, which activates when your regular smoke alarm goes off.

Have a plan

Have a fire escape plan, that your carer, family, or neighbours know about, and have practised with you before. Your plan should include at least two ways to exit from each room, and where you will go to seek safety. Your plan can also include making a kit of essentials and important documents that you can take with you in a hurry.

Keep doorways clear

Make sure doorways and entrances are never cluttered or difficult to get through in case you need to use them in an emergency. Avoid storing bulky items like boxes against doors. Keep your door and window keys in the locks, or close to these areas so that you can get out quickly if needed.

After you leave

Once you’ve left your home and are safe, call triple zero (000) as soon as possible. It’s important you do this immediately to prevent further damage and fire spreading to other homes.

For more information on fire safety when it comes to bushfires, click here.

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