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A few safety tips as we welcome winter

Fire Alarm on wall

Unfortunately at this time of the year, as the weather cools, a number of seasonal related events often occur. As the seasons change, for some it is accompanied by increased weather activity and occasionally (especially in Winter), accidental fires caused by home heating and cooking. Here are a few tips that might help you avoid damage or injury in your home.

Fire prevention

Most States now require a smoke alarm and it makes good sense to have them installed in your home. Remember to regularly test the batteries in your smoke detector. Contact your State Fire Service for further advice.

  • Keep all items clear of any heat source, for example, hot plates, heaters, the fire place or gas flames.
  • Check clothes driers to make sure lint filters are clean after each dry load.
  • When cooking, make sure ovens and hot plates are not left unattended.
  • Have a fire blanket or dry powder fire extinguisher in close proximity to areas such as the kitchen.
  • Prepare a Fire Evacuation Plan and talk it through with your friends and family who live with you.
  • Have your chimneys and flues checked before lighting your first fire.
  • Faulty electrical appliances should be repaired by a qualified electrician or throw them in the garbage immediately.

Reduce the chance for injury around the house

  • Bathrooms and toilets should have slip resistant floors or mats.
  • If necessary, arrange to have grab rails installed in high risk areas.
  • Watch out for frayed or loose edges on floor coverings. You might remember where the hazards are, but visitors tripping in family homes is common.
  • Check paths for cracks, uneven or slippery areas.
  • Check your balconies, patios and stairs to make sure they are safe.

Weather precautions

It is a good time to have your roof and gutters checked to make sure they are safe and don’t require any maintenance. Make sure your gutters are clear of leaf mulch, as many claims arise from blocked gutters causing rain to enter homes, ruining ceilings and ceiling insulation.

Most State Fire Services have lots of safety tips on their internet sites. They provide a good source of information, so check them out regularly to ensure you are as prepared as you can be.


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