A Fireman’s Tips on Home Fire Safety

15 February 2018

“Don’t stop looking when you’re cooking” was the take home message when Station Officer Jim Walsh visited the Belconnen Energetic Seniors on a Tuesday (BEST) Club and the Positive Links group this month. Visiting BCS as part of ACT Fire & Rescue’s community outreach service, Jim shared important tips for home fire safety and talked about ACT Fire and Rescue’s latest community safety campaign. The two groups had a great time chatting with Jim and having their questions and concerns answered.

Five Fire Safety Tips:

    • Don’t stop looking when you’re cooking! Did you know that one third of all residential structure fires in the ACT are caused by people leaving cooking unattended? Making sure you follow some simple rules can help you stay safe in your kitchen. ACT Fire & Rescue has a helpful guide to Kitchen Fire Safety that’s available online. They’ve also put together a cooking challenge that combines fire safety with tasty recipes!

  • Make sure you have smoke alarms installed and that they are working correctly! Smoke alarms that are properly installed and working correctly greatly increase the survival rate of occupants of a building in the event of a fire. There are two types of smoke alarms available for residents on the market: Ionisation smoke alarms and photoelectric smoke alarms; as well as smoke alarms that are designed to alert the deaf or hard of hearing. This Smoke Alarm Fact Sheet has more information about the types of alarm available and how to ensure they’re set up correctly.
  • Keep it neat and it won’t overheat! ACT Fire & Rescue is urging residents to consider what electrical fire hazards they may have in their home. Overloaded power points and power boards can overheat and cause a fire in your home. Check out their Power Point and Power Board Facts to find out how to make sure your appliances are drawing power safely.
  • Empty your lint trap! If you use a clothes dryer, make sure you know how to locate and clean the lint filter, and do it regularly. Clothes dryers in Canberra are very useful, but they can also be a source of ignition for a fire if not used correctly. You can find out more about safe use of Clothes dryers here.
  • Don’t fold your electric blanket! Folding can damage the wiring, creating a fire hazard. If you remove your electric blanket during the summer months, ensure that it is stored correctly. Electric blankets should be rolled not folded. Alternatively, leave the blanket on the bed, as it will remain flat. You can check out the Electric Blanket Fact Sheet for more information about how to make sure you’re using your electric blanket safely.

If you have questions or concerns about fire safety in your home, you can contact your local fire station for advice, or visit the ACT Fire & Rescue website for more information about home fire safety.

The BEST Club is a weekly social group for seniors, held on Tuesday mornings at the West Belconnen Raiders Leagues Club. Positive Links is a social group for people of all ages who have survived a stroke or other physical life changing experience, meeting weekly on Fridays at Belconnen Community Centre. Both groups provide a program of guest speakers, activities, games, outings and exercise. Highlights from February include a seated exercise class, a session on how to find information online, one of our regular Bingo sessions, and, of course, the fantastic visit from ACT Fire & Rescue. Visit the BEST Club or Positive Links pages for more information about these friendly groups.


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