Housefires are usually caused by open fires, heaters, electrical appliances or unattended cooking stations. It may not be common knowledge that if a fire starts in a home, the residents may have as few as two minutes to get out of the house and escape from the flames and the toxic smoke.
An Extensive Checklist for Home Fire Safety in Australia
Therefore, during a house fire, having an early warning system with photoelectric smoke alarms, fire blankets, fire extinguishers, and a well-rehearsed escape plan could draw the line between life or death. This home fire safety checklist is provided to help all the residents of Australia reduce the risk of fire hazards in their homes.
Preventive Measures to Avoid Fire Hazards
Caution About Electrical Appliances
- Replace worn-out and faulty electrical appliances and frayed cords of other appliances.
- Avoid using double adaptors, power boards or multiple extension cords to a single outlet. Talk to an electrician to install extra power outlets if needed for secured connections.
- One must ensure to clean the lint filter every time they use a clothes dryer.
- There must be good ventilation and space for airflow around the clothes dryer.
Attention With Heaters and Open Fires
- Always cover the electric heater, gas fire, pot-bellied stove or an open fire with a guard. The way to determine if the appliance is a guard is by checking if one’s hand can withstand the heat for 10 seconds over the appliance. If not, then the appliance requires a guard that can be secured to the wall.
- Ensure that there are no objects around a heater that could potentially catch fire like firewood, toys, bedding, clothing, carpet, curtains etc.
- When not in use, one must turn off the heaters. They must also extinguish the fire in the fireplace before going to bed.
- Children must stay away from fireplaces and heaters at all times.
Cooking With Care
- The cooking station must never be unattended. When using oil for deep-frying on a wok, one must always keep an eye on the temperature and ensure that the flames don’t get to the fat.
- Parents, guardians and nannies must always supervise children near the kitchen area to ensure that they don’t accidentally turn on the stovetop.
- The gas cylinder needs to be checked at all times for its expiration date, the tightness of hose connections, leakage and damage. If there is a crack in the hose or if it looks worn out, it must be replaced immediately.
- Lighters and matches must be kept away from children at all times.
The Australian government has a law that every new home must have electrical safety switches on their switchboards. Only licensed electricians are allowed to inspect and install these switches to ensure maximum safety.
Essential Fire Safety Equipment
Photoelectric smoke alarms, fire blankets and fire extinguishers are some of the most essential equipment of fire safety at homes which is enforced by the law. In case of a fire, they give an early warning, giving the residents a chance to get out of the house to a safe location or reduce the intensity of small fires before they become hazardous.
- One must change the batteries of smoke alarms once a year and test them each month.
- Keep the alarms dust-free and clean them every year and replace old smoke alarms at least every ten years.
- Install the alarms just outside the bedrooms to ensure that they are heard even when one is asleep.
- Read the instructions for using the extinguisher well-before to be prepared to use it in case of a fire.
Alison Lurie is a farmer of words in the field of creativity. She is an experienced independent content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the writing and editing industry. She is a multi-niche content chef who loves cooking new things.