How to prevent a fire in your home

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It is estimated that over 50 deaths a year in Australia are caused by accidental house firesi. While many house fires are preventable, over 11,000 residential fires occur yearly in Australiai.

Home fires pose a serious risk to you, your family, your home, and your possessions. Common causes of fires in the home include an unattended stove or heating appliances left on. We look at some common causes of fires in the home and the measures you can take to prevent a fire from starting.

If you are unable to put out a fire, it is best to call 000 immediately.

Major causes of home fires

According to Fire & Rescue NSW, more than half of all home fires start in the kitchenii. Not surprisingly, many of these fires start in or on stoves, ovens, toasters, and microwaves, typically found in the kitchen. Home fires can also be caused by faulty or damaged electrical wiring throughout the house and in home appliances; the incorrect use of appliances; and items such as candles and heating appliances (irons, room heaters, electric blankets, hair straighteners, etc.) being left unattendediii.

Safety in the kitchen

Fire & Rescue NSW recommends the following measures to improve fire safety in your kitcheniv:

Leaving your laptop on the bed may cause it to overheat and increases the risk of fire.

Safety in the home

According to Fire & Rescue NSW, the areas of the home most susceptible to fire apart from the kitchen, are the sleeping and lounge areasvi. Here are some tips to prevent a fire from breaking out in areas of the home outside of the kitchenvi,vii:

A smoke alarm is a necessary device for your home. They detect smoke from fires and alert people in the home of danger. Be sure to test your smoke alarms regularly and replace your batteries yearlyviii. If a fire starts and you feel you cannot put it out, evacuate your home immediately using a fire escape strategy, and call the Fire Brigade on 000.

A fire in the home can be a traumatic, dangerous and costly event. Home insurance is a way to protect your family financially in the event of damage from fire to your home. Get a quote from Allianz today.

i City of Ryde 2013, Smoke Alarms Save Lives, viewed 4 November 2013,

ii Fire & Rescue NSW 2013, Kitchen and Appliances, viewed 4 November 2013,

iii Australian Competition and Consumer Commission 2006, Fire Safety at Home 'Be Prepared', viewed 4 November 2013, 070710 FPAA Fire safety at home booklet.pdf

iv Fire & Rescue NSW 2012, Kitchen Fire Safety, viewed 4 November 2013,

v Fire & Rescue NSW 2012, Microwave oven fire safety, viewed 4 November 2013,

vi Fire & Rescue NSW 2012, Home fire safety checklist, viewed 4 November 2013,

vii Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board (MFB), Home Fire Safety Booklet, viewed 4 November 2013,

viii Fire & Rescue NSW 2012, Change Your Clock Change Your Smoke Alarm Battery, viewed 4 November 2013,