With the cooler months upon us it is time to pass on our usual reminder about fire safety in the home.

This is a timely reminder to check your dryers. We’re in winter now, it’s recommended once you do a load in the dryer to empty the lint filter, We also recommended you check your other electrical appliances and heaters.
— Jason Murphy, Station Officer FRNSW

As a convenient coincidence to help the point, just this morning a home suffered significant damage in Queanbeyan when a clothes dryer malfunctioned and caught fire. Our full time colleagues from Fire and Rescue NSW brought the incident under control quickly and prevented any spread to neighbouring homes and the adjacent petrol station. The Queanbeyan Age has a full report here.

So, what can you do? Well first of all try running through this checklist and see if there are any actions you can take. 

  1. Most importantly, have an adequate number of suitable smoke alarms installed throughout your home and make sure that you test them regularly.
  2. Make sure you and all your family know two safe ways out of every room in your home.
  3. Have a written home escape plan in case of fire and practice it regularly.
  4. Never ever leave cooking unattended.
  5. If you have a fireplace in your home make sure the chimney is clean.
  6. If you have an open fireplace always place a screen in front of it when in use.
  7. Check electric blankets for damage or frayed cords before placing on the bed.
  8. Take care to keep curtains, tablecloths and bedding away from portable heaters.
  9. Keep wet clothing at least 1 metre from heaters or fireplaces and never leave unattended.
  10. If you use a clothes dryer make sure you clean the lint filter each and every time you use it.
  11. Always extinguish candles or any other open flames before going to bed.
  12. Never overload power points.
  13. Always handle candles or any other open flame with care.
  14. Store matches or lighters in a secure place not accessible to young children.