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Home Insurance

31 Aug 2019

7 home fire safety tips

Protecting your house against fires can save one of the most important assets in your life - your home. Here are 7 tips to consider when thinking about safeguarding against house fires:

1. Check fire alarm batteries 

Smoke alarms are a must for any home. They can be one of the first things to alert you that there’s a fire and help you and your family get to safety. Smoke alarms should be tested regularly and batteries every year.1 

2. Clean dry leaves out of gutters

If in the event there is a fire in or around your home, the last thing you want is flammable dry leaves and grasses around. The types of places where these things accumulate can be gutters when not regularly cleared out and around the edges of your garden - especially if you have trees that shed their leaves in winter.2

3. Never leave your cooking unattended

Leaving cooking unattended can be dangerous for many reasons, including causing house fires. According to NSW Fire and Rescue, approximately 56% of all residential fires are kitchen fires.3 Some basic things to remember are:

  • Never leave your cooking unattended. Particularly if there are children around. As well as house fires, unattended cooking can cause burns if spilled on a person.
  • Make sure all cooking appliances are turned off when you’re not using them.
  • Never heat metal objects in the microwave.
  • If there is a fire when cooking with oil, never attempt to put it out with water. Turn the cooking appliance off if it is safe to do so, and then cover the fire with a lid or fire blanket, again only if it is safe.


4. Keep flammable objects away from heaters

Heaters can be a necessary part of the home, especially in winter. So while we’re keeping toasty and warm, we need to be aware of the dangers that can come with having heaters. Be sure to avoid letting anything cover or lean up against heaters e.g. curtains and blankets to remove the risk of things catching fire4.

5. Know your fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers can literally be a lifesaver but it’s important that you’re using them correctly. Different coloured fire extinguishers are used for different types of fires. There are 6 different classes of fires5:

  • Class A: General combustibles
  • Class B: Combustible and flammable liquids
  • Class C: Flammable gases
  • Class D: Combustible metals
  • Class E: Electrical devices and appliances
  • Class F: Cooking fats and oils

Different types of fire extinguishers are required depending on the type of fire. This table shows the type of fire extinguisher you need for each fire type.

Source: QLD Fire and Emergency Services.

6. Prepare a fire evacuation plan

Having a fire evacuation plan can mean the difference between making it out of a house fire safely and disaster. NSW Fire and Rescue recommends6:

  • Draw a floor plan of your home that includes two ways of escape from each room
  • Make sure everyone know the escape route and how to get out of your home
  • Keep door and window keys in or next to locks so they can be opened easily

  • Once you’re out, never return into a burning building or residence.


7. Call Emergency Services

When you’re safe and out of harm's way, call Emergency Services on Triple Zero (000).


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Benefits are subject to the terms and conditions including the limits and exclusions of the insurance policy. Cover is issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd ABN 78 090 584 473 AFSL No. 241436 (Hollard). Woolworths Group Limited ABN 88 000 014 675 AR No. 245476 (Woolworths) acts as Hollard’s Authorised Representative. Any advice provided is general only and may not be right for you. Before you purchase this product you should carefully read the Product Disclosure Statement to decide if it is right for you.