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Tips for Protecting Your Home Against Fires

Australian summers are well-known for their unbearable heat and long dry periods. This is one of the most dangerous times for homes. That’s why summer is known as fire season. It’s not just summer that holds a threat of home fires.

Earlier this year we had serious bushfires in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria at the same time. All properties are at risk of fire throughout the fire season and there are safety measures you should take to ensure the fire safety of your home.

This can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and save many lives. Here’s what you can do to ensure that your property is safe throughout the year.

Fire Safety Inside Your Home

Start with the inside of your home. When it comes to indoor fire safety, minimising the spread of fire and potential fuel sources can be the difference between safe evacuation and tragedy in the event of a fire.

The kitchen is the heart of a house and where most fires start. Here are some things to consider in your kitchen.

  • Never leave your stove unattended while it is turned on. Double-check that all cooking appliances are turned off when you’ve finished using them.
  • Keep tea towels and oven mitts away from the cooking area. Having flammable items close to your cooking area increases the risk that they will catch fire.
  • Turn all pots so that the handles face inwards when cooking to avoid knocking or spilling them, or children grabbing them.
  • Oil and fat-based fires must be smothered as water enhances the fire.
  • Keep a fire blanket in the kitchen

Other areas:

  • Do not overload power points as this can cause electrical fires. Be reasonable with how many appliances are powered by one powerpoint. Limit it to one power board per point at most.
  • Switch off any appliances not in use as it will save energy and prevent a chain reaction in the event of a fire.
  • All homes must have at least one smoke alarm fitted on each level of a house.

Fire Safety Outside Your Home

Prevention is the best course of action that you can take when it comes to fire protection. Planning ahead and staying diligent is important. Regularly checking small things around your home can reduce the damage if a fire occurs.

  • Remove leaves and built-up debris from gutters and drains. Dry leaves and sticks are highly flammable and contribute most to the spread of outdoor fires.
  • Keep your woodpile away from your home at a safe distance.
  • Remove dead vegetation from your garden and trees around your property. Overhanging branches can fuel a fire.
  • Keep your lawn well-hydrated and short.
  • Have at least one garden hose that is long enough to reach the edge of your property, even better if it can reach all the way around your home.
  • Store flammable liquids safely away from your home.
  • LPG gas bottles should be stored with the valve facing away from the house
  • Keep pool chemicals away from other flammable liquids.
  • Regularly check your roof for any damage or vulnerabilities and repair any that are found to avoid embers from entering the roof.
  • Keep your home and contents insurance up to date.
  • Create and memorise a home fire escape plan.
  • For properties in bushfire-prone areas, installing fire windows can reduce the risk of property damage from the outside and the spread of fire on the inside of a home.
  • Ensure that keys are readily and easily accessible inside your home. There are many stories of people locking themselves inside a house with deadlocks.

If you’re a home or building owner, looking for more information about protecting your property from fire, contact Ashes Fire Group on 1300 646 860 or email ashesfiregroup@gmail.com.