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People aged 65 years and over account for nearly 50% of house fire fatalities. Most of these fires begin in the kitchen because cooking is left unattended on the stove. Mechanical failure and falling asleep while smoking are other common causes of fire. 

There are simple steps seniors and everyone else should take to improve fire safety in the home.

Are you fire-safe?

  • Ensure smoke alarms are installed and working - test them monthly and change batteries annually.
  • Contact your local fire station if you cannot maintain your smoke alarms. Firefighters can assist elderly residents who live alone and need smoke alarms installed and batteries replaced.
  • Have a fire escape plan in place, practice it and make sure your family/carer knows about it - people with reduced mobility need to practice their escape plan. Where possible, know two safe ways out of every room in your home.
  • When at home, leave keys in or near deadlocks to quickly escape in an emergency.
  • If you have difficulty hearing, consider installing special smoke alarms with a flashing strobe light and vibrating pad that can be placed under a pillow and activated when the smoke alarm sounds.
  • Don't fight the fire - get out and stay out and dial Triple Zero (000) immediately. Never assume that somebody else has done so.
  • Close internal doors when leaving your home to reduce fire spread.
  • Smoking in bed is dangerous. Never smoke in bed.
  • Have an approved electrical safety switch (residual current device) installed.
  • Don't overload power points.
  • Switch off small appliances when not in use.

Smoke alarm assistance

For assistance with installing smoke alarms and changing their batteries,  contact your local fire station and organise a Safety Visit conducted.

In an Emergency, Call Triple Zero (000)

Information sourced from: Fire and Rescue NSW  NSW Rural Fire Service  ACT Fire Brigade  ACT Rural Fire Service

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