While winter has officially come to an end, the cold weather remains and home fire safety is important all year round.
On average, there are more than 3,000 house fires in Victoria each year and most can be prevented by taking simple fire safety precautions.
Firefighters recommend everyone has a home fire escape plan and practise it with your household. People who are well-prepared are more likely to escape their homes safely.
CFA has home fire safety resources available online, which help as a reminder to stay safe inside your home. There is also an online learning module available to improve home fire safety for people who are at higher risk from fire.
Even though spring will start to bring some warmer weather, CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan warned that house fires can occur at any time, urging residents to make sure their heaters, chimneys, and electrical appliances are safe to use.
“We want to make sure people use heating devices like gas heaters or open fires safely, even now that winter is officially over,” he said.
“This includes making sure heaters are switched off before going to bed or leaving the house, keeping clothing, curtains or toys one metre away from heaters and always using a screen in front of open fires.
“Also, remember to never leave cooking unattended, as the leading cause of home fires is cooking in the kitchen.”
With more than 70 per cent of fatal house fires starting in bedrooms and living areas, CFA recommends smoke alarms are installed in all bedrooms, hallways and living areas of your home.
“Fire risk is greatest at night when you are asleep. When we sleep, we lose our sense of smell and the carbon monoxide in smoke can put you into a deeper sleep,” said Chief Officer Heffernan.
“Without a working smoke alarm, you may not wake up if there is a fire.
“Smoke alarms alert you quickly and give you and your family valuable time to escape.”
If a fire does start inside your home; Get out, stay out and call Triple Zero (000).
Visit the CFA website to use the Home Fire Safety Checklist, or to learn more about smoke alarms, visit cfa.vic.gov.au/smokealarms.
Top home fire safety tips
- CFA recommends interconnected smoke alarms are installed in all bedrooms, hallways and living areas of your home.
- Book a licensed gas-fitter to check your gas heater.
- Check chimneys, flues and fire boxes for cracks, rust and debris.
- Check electric blankets for kinks in the wiring.
- Clean the lint filter in your dryer (and continue to do this after every use).
- Check appliances for visibly frayed or damaged wiring.
- Complete the Home Fire Safety Checklist to see if you’ve done everything you can to protect you and your family.
- Prepare a home fire escape plan and practice escaping quickly and safely.