Plan to put family fire safety first this winter

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Victoria’s fire services are calling on households to put family safety first this winter by making sure their home fire escape plans are up to date.


Research conducted by Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) and CFA shows young children, older people, smokers and people with disabilities are among the groups that are over-represented in house fire fatalities.

A house fire can destroy your home in a matter of minutes, with devastating consequences for life and property. The risks of a house fire are real – but they can be significantly reduced if everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire breaks out.

FRV Deputy Commissioner Community Safety Joshua Fischer said that planning and practising a home fire escape plan was a worthwhile – and potentially lifesaving - activity for these school holidays.

“When firefighters respond to a house fire, it’s a priority to ensure everyone is out of harm’s way. You can help us – and protect your loved ones – by having an effective home fire escape plan in place, especially during the winter months when we spend more time indoors,” said DC Fischer.

“Making a home fire escape plan shouldn’t be complicated; in fact your plan needs to be simple enough that everyone can follow it. It could make all the difference in a situation where every second counts.

“Having a plan and practising it with everyone in your household is an essential part of family fire safety. If a fire breaks out in your home, there’s no time to plan. By giving your family a simple plan to follow now, you’re giving them a better chance to survive a life-threatening emergency.”

CFA Deputy Chief Officer, Fire Risk, Research and Community preparedness Alen Slijepcevic said winter was a good time for Victorian residents to revisit their home fire escape plan.

“Winter is the peak time for house fires. Sadly, CFA responded to 780 house fires last year, which is why we urge Victorian residents to revisit their home fire escape plan,” Deputy Chief Officer Slijepcevic said.

“Whether you're a homeowner or renting, you should have a plan in place and practise it regularly, know the two quickest ways out of every room and decide on a safe place to meet outside, such as a letterbox.

“To keep your loved ones safe, smoke alarms should be installed in all bedrooms, living areas and hallways so everyone in the home is alerted to a fire.

“The safest plan is to get down low to stay out of the smoke, if safe close nearby doors to slow down the spread of the fire, and call triple zero once you’re safely outside.”

For more information on how to make a Home Fire Escape Plan, visit or

When making your home fire escape plan, remember

  • Know what to do if a fire occurs. Whether you are a homeowner or renter, you should have a Home Fire Escape Plan in place.
  • Practise your plan with everyone in the home.
  • If you must keep deadlocks locked, leave your keys in the door.

Tips for when there is a fire:

  • Get out and stay out by getting down low and staying out of the smoke.
  • If it is safe, close doors to slow down the spread of fire and smoke.
  • Alert other people on your way out.
  • Meet at a safe place, such as the letterbox out the front of your home.
  • Call Triple Zero from a mobile phone or a neighbour’s phone.


Submitted by CFA Media