Teach Your Family Fire Safety at Home

Annually, Fire and Emergency New Zealand attends to over 20,000 fires, with nearly 5,000, being house fires. In other words, 5,000 homes are burned, and 5,000 families suffer severe trauma, damage or loss of their home and loved ones every year.

House fires, however, are highly preventable if preventive measures are routinely practiced and discussed between families. To help you better understand how, here are our tips about how to teach your family fire safety at home.

Big or Small, Fire Safety is for All

Fire safety is best taught to the whole family. Learn to teach your children what to do in case of fire and involve them in discussions about fire safety systems (such as smoke and heat detectors, fire extinguishers, and fire blankets) installed in your home. Remember, fire is unpredictable, so it is important that your children can stand on their own in times like this, especially when they’re in a separate room. You might not be able to find and carry them quickly enough when evacuating your house.

Your local fire department should have interactive packs created for children to help them learn all about fire safety at home. These are a great resource for teaching your young ones in an appropriate way.

You can play games, prepare skits and watch videos about fire safety to teach your children in a fun way. You can even carry out a fire drill to show them exactly what to do if a fire ever occurred.

Fire Defence is Self Defence

Fire safety systems are essential, and all families should invest in them. You should never think twice about spending on your fire safety systems installation and maintenance as these could greatly reduce your risk during fire.

According to Fire and Emergency New Zealand, “Of the nine fire fatalities this year, six deaths occurred in homes with no working smoke alarms“. Passive fire defence like smoke and detectors, water sprinklers, or fire alarms do not require any action or motion to work, they are automatic. They can protect you and your family when you’re soundly asleep or away. Even a simple fire extinguisher could help save your life and the lives of your family. To equip your home with fire safety systems, visit Building & Fire Services today.

When the Fire is on, Bring out Your Weapon

There is a variety of fire protection equipment you should have in stock to fight small fires from spreading. To know more, click here for a wide range of fire and safety products.

An essential item your home should be equipped with is a fire extinguisher. If yours isn’t yet, you can find a large range of affordable extinguishers to suit your needs.

80% of the time, a simple portable fire extinguisher will suffice to put out the fire. Studies show, that 60% even go unreported. Meaning, the fire isn’t that severe and can be handled well with just home fire extinguishers.

Be careful though, as a single fire extinguisher could not extinguish all types of fire.

In case the fire gets out of control…

Get Out Quick, Before the Smoke Gets Thick

Safety Fact: More people die from smoke inhalation than flames. Fire can suck all the oxygen from a room and replace it with poisonous smoke and gases before flames even reach a room. Many times, people die from lack of oxygen before the fire reaches their room.

That being said, it is important to teach your family how to get out of a burning house and avoid inhaling as much smoke as possible.

Smoke naturally tends to rise, so teach them to use it to their advantage by staying low or crawling while on their way out.

People First, Property Second

While it’s hard to leave your favourite clothes, your expensive phones and laptops, or your precious houseplant and other things you worked hard for, you only have 2 minutes or less to escape. So, teach your family not to waste time trying to take their personal belongings with them. Remember, these things are replaceable, you are not.

Just in Case, Have a Meeting Place

Always plan escape routes from each room with your family. Most fatal fires happen at night when everyone is asleep, in separate rooms. Walk around your house together and discuss possible ways leading out. Have at least two escape routes just in case the first one is blocked.

Have a meeting place such as your mailbox, gate, or your garden just in case you needed to take separate routes getting out. Some people attempt to go back to search for a loved one who’s most likely out in the first place. 

When You’re Out, Stay Out

Going inside a burning house to save someone is a popular movie gimmick. However, a movie is a movie (planned, rehearsed, controlled) and is totally different from an actual fire.

Teach your family to never attempt to go back into the house to try to save others. Instead, let the fire service handle it, after all, they are trained in controlling such situations.

Get in touch if you have any questions about fire safety in your home. For now, check out more of our collection of fire safety articles for further information.

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