WITHIN minutes a house fire has the capability of destroying not only your possessions – but your family.

Most house fires start in the kitchen – and there are a number of simple ways you can reduce the risk of fire danger.

While the first rule of thumb is never to leave food unattended on the stove, cranky toddlers or the interrupting work phone call during home peak hour means we may be distracted.

Reduce the risk with a smoke alarm and ensure oil, sprays, tea towels and other flammables are well away from your cooktop.

Remember, the only type of smoke alarm that will save your life is one that is in working order.

To ensure your alarm is always primed for action:

  • Have more than one smoke alarm in the home – in cooking areas and hallways.
  • Test your alarms at least once a month
  • Replace batteries each year
  • Replace the alarm each 10 years.

If you are a smoker the best outcome would be to quit! However …. if this is work in progress, always make sure you use ashtrays and that the butt is always fully extinguished. Never smoke in bed or leave your cigarettes, lighters and matches where children can find or reach them.

Unexpected winter chills may lead to dusting off the old bar heater. You should check to make sure the heater is in good condition and that it meets approved Australian standards. As with all appliances, those with worn out cords and plugs should be replaced immediately. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

We live in worlds where devices are powered throughout every room – televisions, pay TV, phones, kitchen appliances, lamps, computers, chargers … and the list goes on. Don’t overload or cram plugs into a powerboard – the demand may cause overheating.

Your home is meant to be your safe haven. To ensure it remains so, take the time to have specialist maintenance undertaken regularly – your family is worth it.