Check out our photo a day

How To Make Your Home Fire Safe This Winter

Fat Mum Slim /

Brought to you by Fire and Rescue NSW.

Each time winter rolls around, with it comes more news reports of devastating house fires. We’ve had a few bad ones up our way, and my heart breaks for the people involved. I know I’m not the only mum that gets anxious about the ‘what ifs’ and over-thinking about how to keep the family safe, and even considering what things I’d try to save if a devastating fire did happen to occur.

Sadly it takes as little as three minutes for a house fire to take hold. Each year Fire and Rescue NSW attends around 4500 house fires, with 30% of them happening over winter. That’s a lot of fires.

I chatted to the experts about the simple things we can do to keep our homes safer over winter, so that we hopefully don’t have worry. While the team at Fire and Rescue NSW do so much more than fight fires; including search and rescues, attending hazardous material incidents, and working with police for counter-terrorism projects, and so much more. They’re there for our communities, and prepared for anything. So how do we keep our homes safe? If you remember the following simple rules, youโ€™ll be on your way to having a safe, fire free winter.

๐Ÿ  When using a heater at home, keep everything at least a metre away. That includes curtains, blankets, bedding, tablecloths and clothing.

๐Ÿ  Love an electric blanket? Before you put it on the bed, check the cords and make sure they’re not frayed or damaged. Never leave the house with your blanket on, and switch it off when you jump into bed.

๐Ÿ  Take it easy on your powerboards. We’re keen to charge everything these days, but too many things on one powerboard can make it work overtime, and sometimes catch alight.

๐Ÿ  Keep your candles away from curtains and flammable materials, and make sure they’re not burning when you go to bed or leave the house.

๐Ÿ  Lucky enough to have a fireplace at home? Make sure your chimney is clean and properly ventilated. Use a screen to catch any flyaway embers.

๐Ÿ  Remember to store your matches and lighters up and away from little fingers. Don’t let the kids play with fire!

๐Ÿ  Are you guilty of not cleaning the lint filter on your dryer? Get in the habit of cleaning it out after each and every load.

๐Ÿ  Do not use any outdoor heating or cooking equipment inside. It’s meant for outdoors, and using it inappropriately indoors can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

๐Ÿ  Keep a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket in your kitchen. Every home should have a fire blanket!

๐Ÿ  Talk to your kids, without scaring them of course, about how you can exit the home if you do have a fire. Have a plan, and practice it regularly.

๐Ÿ  Remember, and this is probably the most important tip of all, only working smoke alarms save lives. Make sure your smoke alarm is working, and test it often {I know mine do, because they let me know VERY loudly when I burn my toast!}.

๐Ÿ  Finally, in case of an emergency; Get out, Stay Out and Call Triple Zero (000)

So there you go. They’re such simple, effective and stress-free rules to making our homes safer this winter. Have you checked your smoke alarm recently? Or are you like me and regularly burn your toast so know they work well?

For more information or advice, head to the Fire and Rescue NSW website.