Make your Home Fire Escape Plan these school holidays

Sunday, 4 July 2021 at 1:36 pm

Stuck on ways to occupy the kids these school holidays? Firefighters have your back.

Victorian fire services are calling on families to take time out these school holidays to update their home fire escape plan.

Each year in Victoria, an average of 18 people lose their lives in house fires and many more are seriously injured.

Statistics from Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) and CFA reveal 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 steps people can take to keep their families and homes safe.

Fire Rescue Commissioner Ken Block said making a home fire escape plan, which details two ways to get out of every room and identifies a common place to meet, is vital for every home.

“When a fire breaks out, every second counts,” Commissioner Block said.

“In those precious seconds, you won’t have time to come up with a plan.

‘So knowing how to quickly exit your home could mean the difference between life and death.

If your family is spending time at home these school holidays, it’s a great time to make a plan together and practise it, to ensure your family is well-prepared.”

CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said many residential fires can be prevented and urged Victorians to take precautions to avoid fire risk.

“If a fire starts in your home, there are two things that can save your life – having smoke alarms in the right places and having a practised escape plan, “Chief Officer Heffernan said.

“If you’re home with your kids these school holidays, why not turn it into a fun activity you can do together? Get the kids to help draw the floor plan of your house and talk through how they would evacuate if they heard a smoke alarm, especially if the normal exit was blocked, and where you would meet outside to make sure everyone was safe.

“Families who are well-prepared are more likely to escape their homes safely and without panic.”

When making your Home Fire Escape Plan, remember these important points:

Make sure you have working smoke alarms in all living areas, hallways and bedrooms.

Know the two quickest ways out of every room.

If it’s safe, close the door to the room on fire.

Crawl low in smoke.

Get out. Alert others.

When outside, stay out. Never go back inside!

Meet at a safe place outside your home; e.g. letterbox. Wait until the fire brigade arrives.

Phone Triple Zero (000) from the nearest available phone; e.g. neighbour’s house.

Download a Home Fire Safety Booklet (available in many different languages including Arabic, Dari, Greek, Mandarin and many more), to learn Top Survival Tips, What parents need to know about home fire safety, and how to treat burns.