Fire safety FAQs and tips to keep you and your home safe

There may be some hidden home fire hazards that you should be aware to protect yourself, your family and your home.

Can phone chargers cause a fire?

Yes. Phones and chargers come with a risk if they malfunction or aren’t used in line with manufacturer guidelines. To help prevent overheating, only use approved charging devices from the manufacturer and charge items on surfaces that won’t burn, and away from blankets or flammable materials. Most manufacturers and authorities also recommend devices are unplugged as soon as possible after they’re charged 1.

Is it safe to run a clothes dryer if you’re not home?

No. To avoid a fire hazard you should always ensure that you don’t leave your dryer running when you’re not at home. There should also be enough airflow around the dryer at all times. Fire authorities encourage regular maintenance and recommend you keep an eye on them while in use. It’s also a good idea to avoid overloading your dryer and to let the cool-down cycle finish to reduce the risk of hot clothes igniting.

Can wheat bags cause a fire?

Yes. Fires have been caused by wheat bags overheating in the microwave or spontaneously combusting under blankets in beds 2. They’re designed to be used directly on the body and not as hot water bottle replacements to warm beds. Follow manufacturer-heating instructions carefully and wait until they’re cool before storing.

Can solar panels cause a fire?

Yes. Fire and Rescue NSW has warned residents with solar panels to protect their homes, after a spate of fires in August 2020 4. It was found that short-circuiting of solar power boxes and isolating switch failures were the cause. That’s why it’s important to ensure your solar panels comply with Australian standards and are installed by a licensed contractor. You can do a licence check with Fair Trading protection agency in your area.

Can candles, incense and oil burners cause a fire?

Yes. Keep candles, incense and oil burners on a stable surface away from curtains, and never leave them unattended. Importantly, always remember to put them out when you go out or to bed. 

Can heaters cause a fire?

Yes. Heaters that are used unsafely or malfunction are a major cause of fires, especially during winter 3. Check for damaged cords and keep all household items at least one metre away from heaters. Place outdoor heaters in an area that is flat, well ventilated (to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning) and away from flammable items.

Home insurance solved with DSH Insurance

DSH Insurance offers home and contents insurance that’s exclusive to veterans and Australian Defence Force (ADF) members who have one day of service (including reservists and widow(er)s of those ADF members). 


  1. Electrical Safety First website
  2. website
  3. Fire and Rescue NSW website – common house fires
  4. Fire and Rescue NSW website – Solar panel related fires