With bushfire season fast approaching and the weather heating up, there’s no better time than now to be thinking about the fire safety measures in your home.
It only takes a matter of moments for a room to become engulfed in flames. In fact, a small fire can engulf an entire home in five minutes.
Five minutes is not enough time to save your family, your pets and your precious memories & important documents without some conscious pre-planning.
Planning for an emergency evacuation can feel a bit overwhelming, but a simple way to think about fire safety is with the acronym F.I.R.E.
1. Fire Equipment
Fire equipment is something that every home can benefit from – it’s one of your first defences against a fire.
If a fire breaks out while you are home and awake, fire equipment such as fire extinguishers and fire blankets can be used to put the fire out immediately.
Fire blankets and fire extinguishers each have their specific uses, with varying types of fire extinguishers available for different types of fires.
Fire blankets are the difference between a small fire and an out-of-control blaze; they are ideal for extinguishing oil and fat-based fires in the kitchen.
If someone’s clothing has caught alight, a fire blanket can also be used to put the fire out.
There are five different classes of fire extinguishers available, with each fire extinguisher designed to put out a different category of fire.
For more information on fire extinguishers and tips for using one in your home, click here.
2. Identify Risks in Your Home
The best way to alleviate the threat of fire from risks within your home is to identify and manage any risks.
Some of the most common causes of fires are heating, such as portable heaters, candles and electric blankets, and incidents in the kitchen while cooking.
Below are some common fire safety risks and how to avoid them:
- Avoid placing anything within one metre of your portable heater
- Never leave candles to burn over a considerable time period – blow them out before you leave the room or fall asleep
- If you have a fireplace, ensure you use a mesh guard to protect from flying embers and smother the fire before you leave the room or house.
- Switch off electrical blankets before you go to sleep.
- Never leave cooking appliances unattended.
- Clean the lint filter in your clothes dryer after every use.
- Don’t overload power points with multiple power boards and adapters, andswitch off appliances when not in use.
3. Rehearse Your Fire Plan
Having a fire safety plan is most beneficial when all your family members are prepared with what to do. Having family discussions about what to do in the event of a fire might seem a bit silly, but it will make a significant difference if an emergency does occur and your family know what to do and where to go.
With just minutes to escape in the event of a fire, you and your family should rehearse your fire evacuation plan with a two-minute timeframe in mind.
Why not set up “Family Fire Training” twice a year, where you rehearse your fire plan in full and check over your fire safety equipment.
Just like learning any skill or new information, the more you rehearse and become familiar with it, the easier it is to remember and replicate in the event you do need it.
4. Early Alert from Smoke Detectors
Where there is smoke, there is often fire. Smoke detectors can detect a fire before you do, especially if you or your family are asleep when a fire breaks out.
However, a smoke alarm can only detect a fire and alert you to the issue if it’s working effectively.
Make sure you check your smoke detectors once a month and change the batteries at least once a year to ensure they’re working as they should. Pick a day each month – like the first of the month – that you will remember.
Don’t Leave Fire Safety to Chance
The best way to practise fire safety is to be prepared in all areas of your home.
By having the right equipment on hand, having a fire plan and rehearsing it, and alleviating any potential risks, you can give your family the best chance to safely evacuate in the event of a fire.
For more information on fire protection and training services, call East Coast Fire & Safety today on 1300 856 988 or contact us here.