All of us, no matter where we live, are at risk of a fire in our home. Most fires in the home are preventable by taking simple actions to reduce the risk. Everybody should have working smoke alarms, prepare an escape plan and check their house for possible causes of fire risk.
Install smoke alarms in your home
By law all residential properties in Victoria must have at least one working smoke alarm installed on each level. An extra smoke alarm in every bedroom where the door is closed when sleeping is best.
CFA and MFB recommend photoelectric smoke alarms with a 10-year lithium battery in a tamper proof chamber.
These smoke alarms should be tested monthly, dusted at least once per year and the whole unit replaced every 10 years.
If you have smoke alarms other than those with a 10-year lithium battery, change the batteries at least once every year. It is best to do this at the end of daylight savings. This includes batteries in smoke alarms connected to mains power.
For information on specialised smoke alarms for people who are deaf or hard of hearing click here.
Practice your home fire escape plan regularly
As part of your plan, all family members should know:
- the two quickest ways out of every room
- how to exit from upstairs if you have a multi-level home
- the agreed safe meeting place outside (such as the letter box).
Always keep exit paths free from any obstructions.
Document your escape plan, visit: cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/escape-plans and download a template.
In an emergency call 000
As you evacuate the building
Get Down Low and Go! Go! Go!
If there’s smoke in your house, get down low and go towards the nearest exit. Alert others on the way out. In a fire, the safest area for breathing is near the floor where the air is cooler and cleaner, so remember to crawl low in smoke.
Check doors for heat before opening
Use the back of your hand to check for heat. If the door is hot, use another exit. Close doors behind you if safe to do so.
Stop, Drop, Cover and Roll
If your clothes catch fire - stop, drop, cover your face with your hands and roll to smother the flames. To help someone else, throw a woollen blanket over them to extinguish the flames.
Call the Fire Brigade
Once you are outside, call the fire brigade by dialling 000 (Triple Zero) and wait for them to arrive. Tell them where the fire is and if anyone is still inside. Never go back inside for any reason!