Dec 16, 2011

How to Protect Your Home against Fire

There are things you can do to protect your home against fire. If you live in a rural area or are surrounded by bushland, as well as protecting yourself against a house fire, you should also protect yourself against a bushfire. As well as having smoke alarms in your house you need to keep your property tidy and clear of scrub to reduce the risk of being a fire hazard. You should also know what the community alarm systems there are in place that will warn you of an approaching bushfire.

Smoke alarms

You should have smoke alarms installed in your house. Most new homes are automatically fitted with smoke alarms but if you have an older home you will need to get good quality alarms. You will need several positioned throughout your home and they are best attached just outside bedroom doors so that everyone can hear them during the night if there is a fire. It is the smoke that is the biggest problem with a fire as it can asphyxiate people even before the flames are a problem. Make sure that you check the smoke alarms regularly and that you change the batteries over twice a year, once at the beginning of daylight savings when you are also changing your clocks, and again when you put your clock back at the end of daylight savings.

Clean up around the house

You need to clean up around your house. Remove flammable materials from around your home, like cans of petrol, chemicals and paint. You should also clear any long grass and scrub away from your home and cut back overhanging branches. Eucalyptus trees should be cleared away from the house as the oil within the leaves makes them highly flammable. The branches also have a habit of falling down unexpected. You should rake up any dead leaves and also clear leaves out of your guttering. You should block any gaps in your roof or under the house where there can be air pockets which would help fuel a fire.


If you are in the position where you have to fight a fire you need to have adequate water to put it out. If you live in a rural area or in bushland the best thing to do is to have a proper fire hose and a generator, which is petrol driven. You most likely have tank water living on a rural block, and you should set aside a full tank of water, especially during the fire season. Otherwise having access to a dam is a good idea.

Fire extinguisher

In case of a small fire in your kitchen or other part of the house you should have a fire extinguisher handy. You can also buy fire blankets which you throw over a fire to put it out. Know which extinguisher is for what sort of fire as chemical fires and electrical fires are different to those which you can throw water on.


To protect your home and your family from both a house and bushfire you need to have a plan. Know at what stage you are going to leave if there is a bushfire or how you are going to defend your property. If there is a house fire make sure that everyone knows where they should exit the house and where you will be meeting up.
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