There’s so much to love about the summertime, but there’s equally as much to be conscious of as the temperatures rise across Sydney. Most fatal fires can be prevented. So, here’s some fire safety tips for summer to keep your family and community safe.
Fires from fireworks, barbecues and picnics can quickly become a major threat for communities as well as the fauna and flora along our beautiful mountain ranges and rivers.
Topographical and ecological conditions put major parts of Sydney, and Australia as a whole at a major risk level for fires. Over the last years we’ve seen the devastating effects. That’s why it’s so important to follow government regulations and recommendations to ensure your home and garden.
When it comes to fire safety tips for summer, there is so much you can do in and around your household to minimize risk and be prepared in the case of a fire emergency.
Here’s what you and your loved ones can do to stay safe this summer:
Fire Safety Tips for Summer
1. Prepare Your Home
Firstly, make sure your home is fully up to standard when it comes to fire safety laws in Sydney. Your home should be equipped with an integrated smoke alarm system. Yearly inspections should be undertaken by a licensed professional to avoid any technical faults or battery issues.
It’s also recommended to store at least one fire extinguisher and fire blanket in a central and easily accessible part of your home. Be sure to have your other major appliances checked and kitchen organised too.
Checking your major appliances like your air-conditioner annually will ensure they are properly cleaned which can prevent technical faults. Equally so, dust built-up in your clothes/lint filter can quickly become a fire hazard.
Avoid using any machinery or appliances with frayed or damaged cords. Damage can cause sparking and electrical fires. More so, be conscious of never over-loading any one plug point at any given time. Try to switch off plug points and appliances when not in use.
While most modern extensions are quite hardy, avoid running any cords under carpets, mats or thick curtaining.Installing an electrical safety switch is also incredibly helpful in the case of an emergency.
2. Prepare Your Garden
A fire-smart garden can make a huge difference in the threat of an imminent fire. Always clear out and safely store or remove any debris, branches, leaves and grass from garden maintenance. After tending to your lawn, thoroughly clean out any dried grass from lawn mowers and edgers.
Should your home be situated near any power lines, take extra precaution to look out for and cut back any branches hanging over or around power lines. In an emergency, you’ll want to know you have a clear way to safety, to ensure you keep all pathways clear of debris, garden furniture, tools or children’s toys at all times.
We also tend to forget about out-of-sight and harder to reach areas which can build up leaves and other highly flammable debris. Regularly clean out your gutters as part of your general garden maintenance.
Should any of your garden machinery require fuel, be sure to do so with extreme care and ensure your fuels are safely stored with adequate ventilation. Always keep your house number visible and cut back and overgrowth which may cover it or make it unclear.
3. Take Extra Care When Hanging Out With Friends and Family
While you’re enjoying the beautiful summer weather in Sydney, keep safe around any open flames. Ensure children are not left unattended with any matches, lighters or fireworks. Take special care when having a barbecue or near any kind of flame.
Any and all firelighters or fire starting liquid should be kept in a safe, tightly sealed container.
When barbecuing be sure to:
- Keep a 1-metre perimeter clear around the barbecue.
- Wear short sleeves as long sleeves can quickly catch alight.
- Never leave your fire unattended.
Should you have a pool, keep a large bucket nearby, just in case.
What to Do In a Fire Emergency
The first key thing to do in a fire emergency is to raise awareness within your home. Smoke can sometimes be disorienting or even put you into a deeper sleep. As such, attempt to make as much noise as possible through screaming or banging.
Then, it’s vital to get down as close to the ground as possible and get out. Get out the fastest way that you know. While leaving, try to close as many doors behind you as you can, without compromising your safety.
Closed doors will curb the spread of the smoke, improving your visibility. Only once you have made it to a place of safety should you call 000. It’s strongly recommended for families to figure out a fire escape plan and regularly practice it, especially in the dark.
A good fire escape plan means every family member knows their ideal escape route, who is responsible for whom and where the designated meeting spot is. No one wants to experience a fire emergency and prevention is entirely possible.
Follow these fire safety tips for summer and keep yourself, your family and your community safe.