Winter chill brings fresh reminder to make your fire plan
With many Victorians working from home and spending more time inside as a cold front continues across the state, Victorian fire and rescue services are calling on families to make sure their home fire escape plan is up to date.
Statistics from Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) and the Country Fire Authority (CFA) show that young children, along with older people, people with a disability and smokers, are at a higher risk of not surviving a fire in their home.
While the dangers of a fire are very real, there are many steps people can take to make sure their families and homes are safe.
FRV commissioner Ken Block said making a home fire escape plan which detailed two ways to get out of every room and identified a common place to meet, was vital for every home.
“Nobody wants to think about a fire in your home, but sadly every year, lives are lost in preventable house fires,” Mr Block said.
“Knowing how to quickly exit your home in case of an emergency could mean the difference between life and death.
“Winter is one of the highest risk periods for residential fires in Victoria, due in part to the increased use of home heating.
“So it is an opportune time to revisit or establish a home fire escape plan, ensuring your family is well prepared in the event of a fire.”
CFA chief officer Jason Heffernan said it was imperative to know what to do if a fire occurred in your home.
“Whether you live in your home as a home owner or renter, you should have a home fire escape plan in place,” Mr Heffernan said.
“An average of 18 people lose their lives in house fires in Victoria every year — that’s 18 too many.
“Two simple things that can save your life in a house fire include having working smoke alarms in the right places, and having a practised home fire escape plan.
“Families who are well prepared are more likely to escape their homes safely.”
When making your plan, remember these important points:
• know at least two ways out of every room;
• if it is safe, close the door to slow the spread of fire and smoke;
• crawl low in smoke;
• alert other people on your way out;
• get out and stay out. Never go back inside;
• meet at a safe place at the front of the house like a letterbox; and
• phone 000 from the nearest available phone, like at a neighbour’s house.