Put fire safety first


Max Westwood

Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) are urging households to put family safety first by making sure their home fire escape plans are up to date.

Research conducted by FRV and CFA has shown that young children, older people, smokers and people with disabilities are among the groups that are over-represented in house fire fatalities.

The risks of a house fire are real as a house fire can destroy your home in a matter of minutes, with life altering consequences.

These risks can be dramatically reduced if every member of your household understands what to do when a fire breaks out.

FRV community safety deputy commissioner Joshua Fischer said that planning and practising a home fire escape plan was a worthwhile – and potentially lifesaving – activity for these school holidays.

“When firefighters respond to a house fire, it’s a priority to ensure everyone is out of harm’s way. You can help us – and protect your loved ones – by having an effective Home Fire Escape Plan in place, especially during the winter months when we spend more time indoors,” he said.

“Making a home fire escape plan shouldn’t be complicated; in fact your plan needs to be simple enough that everyone can follow it. It could make all the difference in a situation where every second counts.”

“Having a plan and practising it with everyone in your household is an essential part of family fire safety. If a fire breaks out in your home, there’s no time to plan. By giving your family a simple plan to follow now, you’re giving them a better chance to survive a life-threatening emergency.”

CFA fire risk, research and community preparedness deputy chief officer Alen Slijepcevic noted winter is a great time for Victorians to go-over their home fire escape plan.

“Winter is the peak time for house fires. Sadly, CFA responded to 780 house fires last year, which is why we urge Victorian residents to revisit their home fire escape plan,” he said.

“Whether you’re a homeowner or renting, you should have a plan in place and practise it regularly, know the two quickest ways out of every room and decide on a safe place to meet outside, such as a letterbox.”

“To keep your loved ones safe, smoke alarms should be installed in all bedrooms, living areas and hallways so everyone in the home is alerted to a fire.”

“The safest plan is to get down low to stay out of the smoke, close nearby doors to slow down the spread of the fire, and call triple zero once you’re safely outside.”

Details: frv.vic.gov.au or cfa.vic.gov.au.