Fire can be a threat to all of us, but taking simple precautions and being prepared can help keep you safe from fire at home.
Maintain smoke alarms
Follow the smoke alarm advice stickers in your home to ensure your smoke alarms are in good working order (see Smoke alarms).
Plan your escape
When a fire occurs it is too late for planning. Do it now. Sit down with the whole family and make a simple plan for evacuating your home in the event of a fire.
Draw a floor plan of your home
Plan two ways out of every room – especially the bedrooms – and make sure everyone knows these escape routes.
An example of a floor plan showing two ways out of each room.
Fire plans for unit complexes
Fire evacuation plans have been installed for the safety of residents and visitors. These plans will help you evacuate from the building safely and quickly.
Practice your escape regularly
Practice your escape at night with the lights on and then with the lights out, as when there is heavy black smoke present, it is very hard to see. Remember to 'get down low and go, go, go'. The air is much cleaner, cooler and clearer near the floor so practice your escape on hands and knees.
Organise a meeting place
Decide on a meeting place for your family at the front of your house (for example, the letter box).
Hints for your household
- Teach all children how to escape individually. Make sure they can identify two exits out of every room.
- If you have escaped a room on fire, always close the door behind you to slow the spread of fire and smoke. When the home has been evacuated, the senior adult should account for every occupant and call the fire brigade (000) immediately.
- Make sure everyone in your household knows how to call the fire brigade (000).
- Check windows and doors regularly to ensure they can be used as an emergency escape route. Any keys for locked windows and doors should be kept nearby.
- Never look for the source of a fire. Get everyone out of the building as a matter of urgency.
- Smoke is dark and can severely limit your ability to see. In case there is a fire at night, keep a torch in good working order in a handy location so you can get out and warn others.
- If heat can be felt through a closed door, it is too dangerous to open. You must exit through another door or window.
- If heat and smoke are coming into the room through an open door, close it at once and use the other way out.
More assistance is available from Queensland Fire and Rescue. Operation Safehome is a free home safety service provided by Queensland Fire and Rescue to help you safeguard your household against fire danger. Contact Operation Safehome on 1300 369 003.