We are all responsible!
Most fatal fires occur in the home and winter is a high-risk time. A faulty electrical appliance or washing left too close to a heater could have disastrous consequences, causing major structural damage and exposing family members to harm.
The 3 most common causes of winter fires are:
- Accidents or distractions from cooking in the kitchen
- Fireplace and heater-related incidents
- Electrical faults
Fortunately there are a few simple things you can do to help protect your family from the dangers of fire. Taking the time to regularly check risk areas (see ‘home fire safety checklist’), making sure you have a working smoke alarm, and preparing a home fire escape plan (see ‘below’), can give you a greater chance of avoiding and escaping the devastating effects of fire.
Home Fire Escape Plan
If your home was to catch fire – how would you and your family escape? Few people understand how quickly a fire takes hold in a house and how destructive it can be. You need to plan and prepare so that if a fire does start, everyone knows how to escape quickly and safely.
Home Fire Survival Rules
Keep emergency numbers near the phone
- Ensure emergency numbers are keyed into all the phones in your home.
- Dial 000 (Triple Zero) for fire, police and ambulance.
- It’s never too early to teach children how to responsibly contact emergency services.
Practise your home fire escape plan regularly
- Identify the quickest, safest way to get out of the house from every room, including upper floors.
- Agree on a place to meet outside (letter box or nature strip) and practice it.
- Ensure your house number is clearly visible so emergency services can find you quickly.
Stop, drop, cover and roll
- If your clothes catch fire – stop, drop, cover your face with your hands and roll to smother the flames.
- To help someone else, throw a woollen blanket over them to extinguish the flames.
Get down low and go go go!
- If there’s smoke in your house, get down low and go, go, go!
- In a fire, the safest area for breathing is near the floor where the air is cooler and cleaner, so remember to crawl low in smoke.
Check doors for heat before opening
- Use the back of your hand to check for heat, then get down low and crawl to safety.
- Close doors behind you if possible. If the door is hot, use another exit.
- Get everyone out of the house as quickly as possible.
Call the fire brigade
- Call the fire brigade from a neighbour’s house, public or mobile phone and wait for them to arrive.
- Tell them where the fire is and if anyone is still inside.
- Never go back inside for any reason.
Information via: homefiresafety.com.au