Fire safety at home
In Australia, more than 50 people die as a result of fire each year.
Most fatal fires are preventable. Take the following precautions to minimise the risk of a fire in your home.
Home fire safety tips
- Never leave cooking, heaters, open fires or candles unattended
- Don't overload power boards
- Keep electrical appliances in good working order
- Ensure cigarette ash and butts are extinguished. Never smoke in bed
- Do not dry clothing in front of heaters
- Clean lint filters in clothes dryers after every use and always let dryers complete the cool-down cycle
- Store all matches and lighters out of reach of children
- Keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket and know how to use them
- Have a home fire evacuation plan and practise it regularly
- Never deadlock yourself inside the house.
Smoke alarms detect smoke and sound an alarm, alerting you to a fire and giving you valuable time to escape.
By law, all homes must be fitted with smoke alarms.
Fire escape plan
A fire evacuation plan can save lives. All homes should have a clear evacuation plan that is known to each family member.
Learn how to make an escape plan.
Home security vs. fire safety
Security devices such as deadlocks and window grills can stop you and your family from getting out of the house in a fire.
People have died in fires because their doors were dead-locked and the keys were not easily accessible.
To ensure your home is secure and fire safe:
- install locks that can be opened from the inside without keys
- if keys are needed, leave the key in a familiar place close to the door but out of reach of potential intruders
- limit the number of keys needed to open doors
- install security grills that feature keyless options on the inside
- check that any window grill bars/screens open outwards from the inside easily
- if grills are key locked, the key should be on hand.
Is your home fire safe?
Identify fire hazards in your home with a Safehome visit by your local firefighters.
Safehome is a free service offered by Queensland Fire and Emergency. Firefighters will inspect your home to ensure there are no fire hazards and the right fire safety precautions are in place.
Choosing a smoke alarm
All homes in Queensland must have a working smoke alarm.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Service recommend all homes are fitted with photoelectric smoke alarms because they:
- give earlier warnings for smouldering fires, which are one of the most common types of domestic fires, than other types of smoke alarms
- provide the best detection across a range of fires
- are less likely to emit nuisance or false alarms
- do not contain radioactive material.