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How To Make Your Space Safe from Fires

Cleaning is not only about looks, it’s also about maintaining the health and safety of a place for all the people who will occupy that space. With the ongoing bushfires all around, it’s better for us to have the knowledge about how to keep our homes, properties, and businesses safe.

Understanding Fire

The easiest way to avoid fire hazards is to keep the 3 elements of fire --fuel, heat, and oxygen-- far from each other. This is also the way to extinguish a fire. Remove one element and the fire will die. It’s really easy in theory but it’s harder to do with every second that passes.

Fire is a very hungry monster and given enough time, anything can add fuel to its flames so it’s imperative to put out fires immediately. 

Also, because of the consumptive nature of fire, the deadliest part of it is causing suffocation. It’s not just the smoke, it’s also the fact that the fire is constantly eating up the oxygen in an area.

Now that we know these facts about fire, here are the things we should take care of in order for our spaces to be safe against fire.

 

Dispose of flammable materials immediately

Clear piles of leaves and other litter from the ground around your place, especially if you are near the bushfires. If you can, place them inside garbage cans with lids on it so that they will not be exposed to heat and/or oxygen. 

Also, if you smoke, properly dispose of your cigars/cigarettes. Put out the fire first before throwing it into a proper bin/ashtray. 

 

Pay attention to open flames

As the NSW Fire and Rescue reminds us, Keep Looking When Cooking. Cooking in open flames is a part of our culture but it could be really dangerous really fast. Here are some guidelines when cooking in open flames:
  • Check your cooking equipment before using it, especially if you will use wood or gas. Check if there are leaks or fuel spills before lighting a fire.
  • When you are done cooking or grilling, extinguish the flames immediately.
This also applies to candles and oil burners. NEVER leave them unattended.
 

Properly store flammable materials

Especially if you have chemicals and fuels in your shed. Make sure that they are covered properly, out of reach from children, and far away from things that can cause sparks such as lighters or matches. 
 

Properly handle electricity and electrical equipment

One of the main causes of fire inside a property aside from open flames or cooking is faulty electrical wiring. Electricity is extremely high in temperature and damages in your electrical circuit can produce sparks or can cause electrical appliances to overheat or explode. Here are some tips:
  • Always check sockets and extensions for their electrical rating. If you plug too much equipment, it could overload the circuit and it will produce extreme heat and sparks.
  • Regularly check the wires of your appliances. Sometimes they might be deformed or be bitten by vermin which could lead to exposed wires. You can easily fix those by electrical tape.
  • Check your dryer,  vacuum cleaner or other appliances for blockages. Blockages can make the engines of your appliances overheat.
  • Have professional vent cleaning done for your central air and heating. 
If you want to know more about how bushfires start, here’s an article from ABC. This is how most bushfires in Australia start, and how we know.

Also, here’s the Home Fire and Safety Checklist from NSW Fire and Rescue. HOME FIRE SAFETY CHECKLIST

Lastly, if you just went out of the building that is on fire, stay out. For any other fire-related emergencies in NSW, call 000.
 

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