This post is Sponsored by Fire and Rescue NSW
When we were approached by Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) to help spread the word about Fire Safety – of course we were on board! We want to make sure our Fun Mum community and their families are safe and sound this winter. What I didn’t realise though, was just how little I knew, and how much more I could be doing to protect my family. To be honest, I felt quite bad about the lack of basic implementation I could have been doing in my home already. BUT never fear, I have learnt so much and I would love to show you what I have learnt and hopefully get you to do all of these things to protect your family from a potential fatal fire.
Let’s first talk about the amazing work of FRSNW. Of course fire is at the core of what they do, but the reality is they do so much more than fight fires. The rapid availability of their highly trained professionals across an ever-increasing range of emergencies means that these days you are highly likely to see their dedicated people dealing with, and preparing for:
- All manner of rescues, including Urban Search and Rescue deployments both within Australia and overseas
- Hazardous materials incidents
- Counter-terrorism supporting Police
- Assisting other agencies with emergency medical responses and severe weather-related events
Whether it’s installing a smoke alarm or a humanitarian relief deployment overseas, firefighters help anyone, anywhere, anytime and FRSNW excels in any emergency and is prepared for anything.
I find these facts amazing. We always respect our fire fire fighters but often underestimate their work. Let’s take a moment to appreciate them…
Did you know that Winter is the WORST time of year for home fires? Each year FRSNW attends approximately 4,500 residential fires in NSW, with approximately 30% of them occurring in winter months. It goes without saying really, we crank up our heaters, sit around the fire and embrace the warmth and FRSNW is urging residents to take every precaution to avoid a fire in the home.
It can take just three minutes for a fire to take hold, but a few simple steps can help you prevent one. Please take the following seriously and make sure you implement them around your house. I have prepared an easy form you can download after this checklist that you can print for free and pop it on your fridge.
- When using home heaters, remember to keep everything in the house a metre from the heater, including clothing, curtains, tablecloths and bedding.
- Keep candles away from curtains and other flammable materials, and don’t let them keep burning after you’ve gone to bed or left the home.
- Store matches or lighters in a secure place not accessible by young children.
I had previously stored my matches and lighters in the laundry due to the fact that it’s close to our new fire pit. Admittedly, the children could probably have gotten access to them. I’ve now moved them to the highest shelf in my kitchen where they both can’t reach them!
- If you have a fireplace in your home, make sure the chimney is clean, and is properly ventilated. Additionally, place a screen in front of it when in use to prevent embers and sparks from escaping and injuring someone or causing a nearby flammable object to catch fire.
- Check electric blankets for damage or frayed cords before placing on the bed, and never go to bed or leave home with your electric blanket on – always switch it off first.
- Clean the lint filter from your clothes dryer each and every time you use it.
- (This is my lint filter after just one use! You can see how quickly the lint builds up!)
- Do not use outdoor heating and cooking equipment inside your home. The use of this type of equipment indoors could lead to the build-up of carbon monoxide which could be fatal.
- Never ever leave cooking unattended and always remember to Keep Looking When Cooking
- If possible, keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket handy in the kitchen
- Make sure you and all your family members know two safe ways out of every room in your home.
- You should also have a written home escape plan in case of fire and practice it regularly.
- In case of an emergency; Get out, Stay Out and Call Triple Zero (000)
- Most importantly, remember that only working smoke alarms save lives. Ensure you have working smoke alarms installed throughout your home and test them regularly.
- Never use flammables such as petrol, kerosene or methylated spirits to start a fire. They can explode and cause serious injury.
- Never use wheat bags to warm your bed. There is the potential for them to start a fire.
If you remember these simple rules, you’re on your way to having a safe, fire free winter.
Again, please download our FREE printable to print and place on your fridge for a constant reminder
As a family, we sat down and implemented a fire evacuation plan. We worked out at least two safe exits from each room.
We drew up a floor plan of our home showing all doors and windows and where each smoke alarm is located. You can draw up your own floor plan by heading to this link.
We checked all doors and windows making sure they would open easy – we noticed some of our sliding door locks were stiff so we used WD40 to make sure they slid easily.
We checked our smoke alarms – we pressed the test buttons on each and every alarm.
We worked out a meeting place outside of our home (our letterbox) should everyone need to evacuate.
We explained to the kids that the first priority in a fire is to get out of a burning house and that if there is a fire close the door as you are leaving a room to prevent fire and smoke from spreading.
We told them that when there is smoke to get down low and go, go, go.
They know to call triple zero (000) in case of a fire from a safe phone.
We also explained that once we get out, we STAY OUT and never go back inside a burning building.
We then practiced our escape plan twice so it was very clear in the children’s minds on what to do. We are going to practise this plan at least twice a year, making sure that everyone is involved as advised.
I felt really good making sure we had a safe plan for our family and I now know I can sleep a lot better at night knowing we are all aware of the risks and how to potentially save each others lives.
I strongly urge you to do the same. For more information and fact sheets head to Fire and Rescue NSW and keep your family safe!
Here is my family and I can tell you that I can now sleep a lot easier knowing they now know about fire safety, and we’ve done everything we can to prevent a fire!
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