Every week we hear the tragic news of life lost in a house fire or a family that have lost their home and possessions.
‘It will never happen to me!’ is the common catch cry. But you just don’t know when or how a house fire will occur. It could be from an electrical fault or while distracted from the cooking.
Statistics reveal that almost half of all home fires are started in the kitchen, and 43% of all fire fatalities occur during winter. The key to reducing the risk of fire occurring in your home, and surviving one, is being prepared. Everyone in your household should understand what risks there are in your home and what to do to minimise them.
Smoke detection the basic first step
One of the simplest and cheapest ways to protect you and your family is to have at least one smoke alarm. They’re required in all new homes, and for good reason.
Smoke alarms can save your life by giving you precious additional minutes or seconds in warning. The Family-First range of smoke alarms, available from Bunnings, start from just $20.
It is recommended that smoke alarms be installed in multiple locations around your home. As a minimum, one should be installed near the kitchen, where most fires start, and another right outside bedrooms so to provide the loudest warning while you’re sleeping. The Family-First Photoelectric Smoke Alarm 240V Interconnectable can connect with up to 12 alarms, so if the alarm in the kitchen activates, so too will the one near your bedroom where you may be sleeping and before the smoke has travelled.
Prevention the next step
A smoke alarm is something we hope we’ll never have to actually use. While $20 might save your life, preventing a fire from happening will save you much more.
Some essential home fire safety steps include:
- Never leave your cooking unattended.
- Keep a fire blanket and extinguisher in the kitchen so you can respond to a small fire starting and stop it from developing into a much bigger one.
- Have all faulty appliances repaired or replaced, and check their cords – electrocution is another major risk.
- Extinguish all candles and open flames before you go to bed.
- Keep curtains, bedding and clothing away from fireplaces and portable heaters – never use a heater to dry clothes!
- Test your electric blanket every year before using them in winter.
- Clean the lint filter from your clothes drier between loads.
Finally, most importantly, regularly test your smoke alarm and change the battery inside it at least once a year.