Smoke alarms save lives

Safety. As the rate of house fires increases as it gets colder, Tasmania Fire Service firefighters are urging people to ensure they have a smoke alarm installed in every sleeping area.

Most fatal house fires occur at night when people are sleeping and the absence of smoke alarms can increase the possibility of a house fire resulting in a fatality by 60 per cent.

“Of the 100 house fires TFS crews have responded to since March this year, almost 80 per cent of those were caused accidentally,” said TFS’ Sandy Whight.

“We can’t prevent all fires, so we need the community to give themselves the best chance of surviving a house fire by ensuring they have adequate smoke alarms in their home.

“Working smoke alarms can mean the difference between you and your family surviving a house fire or not.

“You can’t smell smoke when you are asleep so your best chance of surviving a house fire is to rely on your other senses to wake you. If a fire starts in the bedroom it will be too late if the closest smoke alarm is in the hallway.

“The more smoke alarms you have in a house the quicker you will be alerted to a fire to allow the safe evacuation for you and your family to your one safe meeting place outside.”

Help yourself, your family and Tasmania’s emergency services by installing 10-year lithium battery photoelectric smoke alarms in every bedroom, hallway, living area and the top of stairs.

Tips for staying safe in your home this winter:

• Ensure your family has a current and practised home fire escape plan

• Inspect and clean your chimney flue annually by a qualified professional

• Keep flammable items such as clothing on airers at least two metres from the heater

• Ensure the lint filter in your clothes dryer is clean prior to each use

• Run the clothes dryer through to the end of the cooling cycle

For more information about home fire safety visit www.fire.tas.gov.au.

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