Kippa-Ring firefighters are urging people to “take five to get out alive” during winter – the peak season for housefires.
Senior Firefighter Shayne Enright says taking five minutes to prepare in case of fire can save lives.
He suggests following three simple steps to prepare your household – checking that fire alarms work, preparing a fire escape plan with an agreed meeting point, and practicing the plan.
"You can have as little as 15 seconds to get everybody out,” Shayne says.
“An important step in ensuring your family’s fire safety is having working, interconnected photoelectric fire alarms.”
Senior Firefighter Terry Moloney says it is important to identify two escape routes from every room and practice an escape plan regularly.
“When we do fire education at school, we tell the kids to turn the lights out and practice when it’s dark, because many fires happen at night and cut the electricity,” Terry says.
Shayne encourages people to look out for neighbours who live alone.
“Keep an eye on people who are vulnerable – the elderly and the young - and make sure they have an escape route.
“Check on elderly people who are living alone, and if they have added security make sure they leave their keys in a safe, accessible place.”
Shayne says kitchens are the most fire-prone room in the house, with almost half of all fires starting there, but bedrooms are not without risk, particularly in winter.
“Check your electric blankets – when they have been folded for storage that can damage the element, and frayed cords are a risk too,” he says.