When fires start, they can spread quickly and unpredictably. Knowing what to do in the event of a fire may help prevent fire damage to your home and help keep your family safe.
Here’s some tips that may help you protect your home and loved ones from fire loss:
- Prepare a fire escape plan. Map out designated escape routes and choose a safe meeting place outside. Share the plan with your family and review it together frequently.
- Install smoke alarms and check them regularly to ensure they’re working. Remember to replace the batteries each year.
- Inspect your home for fire hazards, such as overloaded electrical circuits and combustible items (e.g. newspapers, cardboard and rags). Store flammable materials in approved containers away from heat sources (e.g. space heaters).
Preventing potential fires
While it’s important to have an action plan in place to help protect you and your family in the event of a fire, there are some things you can do that may help minimize the potential for a fire to start in the first place.
Candles left unattended are a common cause of fires beginning and spreading quickly. If you use candles in your home, there are steps you can take to enjoy the ambiance safely:
- Always extinguish a candle after you have finished using it or you’re leaving the room.
- Dispose of any matches safely. Do not throw them into any vegetation and always soak them in water before discarding them.
When drying clothes, remember to:
- Empty the lint trap before each load.
- Ensure the dryer vent isn’t obstructed.
- Vacuum the exhaust hose every few months.
The kitchen is another common place for a fire to start. Here are some ways to help prevent cooking fires:
- Don’t leave the stove on unattended.
- Keep things that burn easily away from the stove including oven mitts, dish cloths and paper towels.
- Keep a pot lid next to the stove so you can cover the pot if it catches fire and turn off the stove.
- Have a fire extinguisher in a place that’s easily accessible.
Preparing for potential wildfires
Check out these tips that may help you to minimize potential wildfire damage to your property.
- Ensure any dried bush is regularly cleared away from the area immediately surrounding your house and property.
- Place fire-resistant plants around within 10 meters of your home and remove highly flammable plants from your property.
- Consider getting rid of any mulch laying in your garden bed, as it can be a potential place for fires to start.
- Keeping your grass cut under 10 cm is another practical fire prevention measure that you can regularly implement.
- Consider using non-flammable materials, such as metal or masonry, to construct fences and decks. If you decide to build with wood, ensure that you use professionally applied fire-resistant coating to your fence or deck.