House fires can happen any day, any time and at any time of the year. House fires do not only happen during the colder months; they are just as likely to occur during the warmer months as well.
A house fire can happen when you’re at home, or when you’re out for the day. They can happen quickly and without warning; you would be surprised how easily a house fire can be started.
Are you prepared for a house fire? Do you have a home fire escape plan? Do you know what the hotspots are in your home?
More people die in house fires each year than any other fire – what can you do to keep your family safe?
Developing a home fire escape plan
Every household should have a home fire escape plan. Do you have one? When developing your home fire escape plan, you need to involve everyone who lives in the house and you must practice your plan.
The more you practice your plan, the better prepared you’ll be if there is a fire. Remember, people behave differently during the real thing, so by practicing your plan, you reduce the likelihood of mistakes, and increase the likelihood of survival.
To find out more about home fire safety you can visit the CFA website.
Download a copy of the Home Fire Escape Plan template and other CFA publications to assist you to remain safe in case of house fire or bushfire.
How do house fires start?
There are a few simple things you can do to prevent a house fire in your home. The best prevention is to know what the most likely causes of house fire are, and then take action to address the causes in your home.
Common causes of house fire
Most house fires start in the kitchen due to unattended cooking.
Other causes include candles, open fires, heaters, electric blankets, clothes dryers, overloaded power points and unattended appliances.
The CFA recommends that you check the hot spots in your home.
Keeping your family safe
Research shows that a functional smoke alarm saves lives. Make sure your smoke alarms are in working order; change the batteries twice a year and check weekly.
Other things you can do to keep your family safe if there is a house fire include:
- developing a home fire escape plan
- practicing your home fire escape plan
- making sure everyone in your home knows about the home fire escape plan
- making sure you have a properly maintained fire extinguisher and fire blanket handy in the kitchen
- never deadlocking your doors while at home.
Is your home house fire safe? Check the CFA checklist to find out.
For more information about house fires and how to prevent them, visit the CFA website.
Insurance and house fires
How many times do you hear on the news after a house fire, that the residents did not have house insurance or they did not have adequate insurance cover?
Don’t be one of those people.
While it is stressful and upsetting to lose your home with its contents, having adequate house and contents insurance reduces that stress.
If you do not have house and contents insurance, it is a good idea to get it right now!
If you currently have house and contents insurance, we advise that you check with your insurance company to assess the adequacy of your current cover. You can also check with the Insurance Council of Australia
Recovering from a house fire
In the event of a house fire, Council’s Municipal Recovery Manager (MRM), together with Red Cross and the Department of Human Services (DHS), provide support to affected individuals and families.
Council’s Building Inspector may also attend the property to determine the health and safety risk associated with a fire-damaged building.
It is normal to experience stress after a house fire. Even if you don’t feel stressed immediately after a house fire, we recommend you read the Department of Human Services information about experiencing stress as a result of an emergency.
You may be eligible for financial assistance from the Department of Human Services and material aid (clothes, toiletries and bedding) from the Salvation Army.
For information about preparing for, responding to and recovering from an emergency, visit the Red Cross website.
You can contact Council and speak to the MRM on (03) 5494 1200 if you require assistance.