Fire safety around the home

By Dale Vine

Being prepared is the best form of prevention when it comes to improving your home’s fire safety.

If we were talking rural properties or homes in high risk fire areas with surrounding bushland, preventative measures can be quite extreme and costly. But for your average townhouse or inner city home, there are a few easy things you can do to reduce the risk of house fire:

Never leave the house or a room with a candle or incense stick burning. An open flame or hot ash can quickly turn into a far more serious fire if it spits onto nearby flammable material.

Now that winter is gone, pack away your electric blankets. It can be easy to unknowingly flick the controller on when making your bed and a heated bed on a hot day is an unnecessary risk you don’t need to have. A faulty overused controller is often why these things ignite.

Be wary of the morning rush when using heated appliances. Clothes irons, hair straighteners, hair dryers or a frying pan for fried eggs will all hold heat for a period of time after being used, so be careful not to throw them back into a cupboard or drawer before they have properly cooled. I’ve seen a bloke’s station wagon catch fire after he placed a whipper snipper that still had a hot motor in the back!

De-clutter! A clean space is a safer space. Built up areas such as mail stacked on top of the fridge add to the risk of something catching alight. Although we’d all like to burn our bills, it’s not worth burning your house down if one falls down the back of the fridge radiator!

Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms. Or better yet, get them hard wired to your house power by an electrician so they will always remain functional.