7 home fire safety tips
Protecting your house against fire could help save one of the most important assets in your life - your home. Here are 7 tips to consider when thinking about safeguarding against fires:
1. Check fire alarm batteries
Smoke alarms are a legal requirement for any home. They can be one of the first things to alert you if there’s a fire and help you and your family get to safety. Smoke alarms should be tested regularly, and lead or alkaline batteries replaced every year.1
2. Clean dry leaves out of gutters
In the event of a fire in or around your home, the last thing you want is flammable dry leaves and grass around. Leaves can accumulate in gutters and around the edges of your garden when not regularly cleared out - especially if you have trees that shed leaves in winter.2
3. Don’t leave your cooking unattended
Leaving cooking unattended can be dangerous for many reasons, including causing house fires. According to NSW Fire and Rescue, approximately 56% of all residential fires are kitchen fires.3 Some basic things to remember are:
- Never leave your cooking unattended. Particularly if there are children around. As well as house fires, unattended cooking can cause burns.
- Make sure all cooking appliances are turned off when you’re not using them.
- Never heat metal objects in the microwave.
- If there is a fire when cooking with oil, never attempt to put it out with water.
Turn the cooking appliance off if it is safe to do so, and then cover the fire with a lid or fire blanket, only if it is safe.
4. Keep flammable objects away from heaters
Heaters can be a necessary part of the home, especially in winter. While we’re keeping toasty and warm, we need to be aware of the dangers that can come with having heaters. Be sure to avoid letting anything cover or lean up against heaters (e.g. curtains and blankets) to remove the risk of things catching fire.
5. Know the right fire extinguisher to use
Fire extinguishers can literally be a lifesaver but it’s important that you’re using them correctly. Different coloured fire extinguishers are used for different types of fires. There are 6 different classes of fires5:
6. Prepare a fire evacuation plan
Having a fire evacuation plan can mean the difference between making it out of a house fire safely and disaster. NSW Fire and Rescue recommends6:
- Draw a floor plan of your home that includes two ways of escape from each room
- Make sure everyone know the escape route and how to get out of your home
- Once you’re out, never return into a burning building or residence
7. Call Emergency Services
When you’re safe and out of harm's way, call Emergency Services on Triple Zero (000).