While you’re enjoying the wonderful summer weather and a good old barbecue with the family, it’s important to follow fire safety tips to keep your family safe.
November through February are high-risk months for fires in Australia. The warm weather and winds can quickly cause a small fire to break out.
When it comes to being fire safe in your home it’s not only about making sure you have an emergency strategy, it’s about actively taking precautions everyday – and especially when interacting with any major fire hazards like barbecues, fireworks, candles, gas and fuels.
Fatal fires are preventable and there is so much you can do to keep yourself, your family and community safe this summer.
6 Fire Safety tips for the Summer
1. Keep Your Garden Clean
Keeping your garden cleared will ensure you don’t have anything in your yard that can potentially become dangerous. Many times we forget about old leaves, branches or grass cuttings but these are all extremely hazardous in a fire.
Keep up with clearing your garden regularly and don’t forget the hard to reach areas like your gutters. Should you have any major power lines near your home, be sure to cut back any and all branches above or around them.
In general, try to keep all your pathways clear of debris and garden furniture.
After mowing and edging, clear away any loose grass in your garden, as well as on the inside of your lawn mower or whipper snipper. If you are using a fuel powered garden tool.
2. Store Gas & Fuels Safely
Be sure to store any gas, fuels or fluid fire starter in a sealed, air-tight container in a well ventilated area. Be sure to:
- Never leave fuels or gas containers, outdoors and in the sun.
- Immediately clean spills and leakages.
- Regularly check your valves and piping for wear and tear and leaks.
- Call an expert if you find any issues.
3. Don’t Forget Your Fire Alarm
Australia already has quite strict regulations regarding fire alarms in residencies. Your home should already have an integrated smoke alarm system, however, once installed it’s easy to forget about it.
You should regularly clean out your fire alarms to remove any dust build-up which may cause an electrical fault.
It’s also important to have yearly inspections conducted by a licensed installer to ensure your alarm system is fully functional, fully powered and without any technical fault.
4. Be Careful Around The Barbecue
You can’t really enjoy the summer without a good barbecue but any unsupervised flame can end disaster quickly.
If having a barbecue with family, or even by yourself, you’ll want to:
- Clear a 1-metre perimeter around the fire.
- Use a minimal amount of fire starter liquid or blocks.
- Avoid crowding around the fire.
- Keep any alcoholic drinks away from the flame.
- Wear short sleeves.
- Never, ever leave it unattended.
It’s also important to keep children supervised around the barbecue or any open flame.
5. Protect Your Power Points
Electrical faults are a major factor cause of fires. Overloaded or damaged power points, loose wiring can quickly become an issue.
To protect your power points and avoid problems:
- Avoid overloading plug points. Never plug too many appliances and devices into any one point. Switch off any and all appliances that are not used.
- Consider installing an electrical safety switch. An electrical safety switch attaches to your circuit breaker and regulates any fluctuations.
- Never run major cabling under carpets. Major cabling should be kept clear of any and all covering and kept out of the way of foot traffic to avoid faults.
6. What to Do in A Fire Emergency
Break-out fires can happen so while taking all the precautions, it’s vital for you to have a proper emergency plan in place.
Secure a solid escape route out of your and make sure you have quick access to any major exits.
Should a fire break out, first sound the alarm and warn others. Smoke can cause confusion and even deepen sleep, so make sure your family knows what is happening by screaming or banging on walls.
Try to get out as quickly as possible. Stay low to avoid smoke inhalation and if possible, try to close doors behind you as you exit to curb the spread of the smoke.
Only once you have made it to a safe location should you contact 000.
For extra security, keep at least one fire extinguisher and a fire safety blanket in an accessible location in your home.
Wrapping Up Our Fire Safety Tips for Summer
In an emergency, get out as fast as you can and be sure to draw attention. Stay low and just go. Protect your home and your family with regular inspections and keeping up with precautions.
Follow these fire safety tips for summer and enjoy the summer without the fear of a major fire.
My sister would like to hire an HVAC contractor that will be able to install a fire suppression system in her house. Aside from this, you are also right that it would be smarter to keep the home's gutter clean. Thank you for clarifying here as well that yearly inspection is necessary.