Fire safety FAQs and tips to keep you and your home safe.

There may be some hidden home fire hazards that you should be aware to protect yourself, your family and your home.

Can phone chargers cause a fire?

Yes. Phones and chargers come with a risk if they malfunction or aren’t used in line with manufacturer guidelines. To help prevent overheating, only use approved charging devices from the manufacturer and charge items on surfaces that won’t burn, and away from blankets or flammable materials. Most manufacturers and authorities also recommend devices are unplugged as soon as possible after they’re charged.

Is it safe to run a clothes dryer if you’re not home?

No. To avoid a fire hazard you should always ensure that you don’t leave your dryer running when you’re not at home. There should also be enough airflow around the dryer at all times. Fire authorities encourage regular maintenance and recommend you keep an eye on them while in use. It’s also a good idea to avoid overloading your dryer and to let the cool-down cycle finish to reduce the risk of hot clothes igniting.

Can wheat bags cause a fire?

Yes. Fires have been caused by wheat bags overheating in the microwave or spontaneously combusting under blankets in beds. They’re designed to be used directly on the body and not as hot water bottle replacements to warm beds. Follow manufacturer-heating instructions carefully and wait until they’re cool before storing.

Can solar panels cause a fire?

Yes. Fire and Rescue NSW has warned residents with solar panels to protect their homes, after a spate of fires in August 2020. It was found that short-circuiting of solar power boxes and isolating switch failures were the cause. That’s why it’s important to ensure your solar panels comply with Australian standards and are installed by a licensed contractor. You can do a licence check with Fair Trading protection agency in your area.

Can candles, incense and oil burners cause a fire?

Yes. Keep candles, incense and oil burners on a stable surface away from curtains, and never leave them unattended. Importantly, always remember to put them out when you go out or to bed.

Can heaters cause a fire?

Yes. Heaters that are used unsafely or malfunction are a major cause of fires, especially during winter. Check for damaged cords and keep all household items at least one metre away from heaters. Place outdoor heaters in an area that is flat, well ventilated (to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning) and away from flammable items.

For those living in NSW you can request a home safety inspection.

What is a Safety Visit?

During your Safety Visit, we will attend your home and check that you have working smoke alarms, that they are in good working condition, and are installed in suitable areas. If you do not have one, firefighters will install a long-life battery-powered smoke alarm as well as replace existing smoke alarm batteries all at no cost. With your permission, firefighters will also ask you to show us around your home and property. This will allow us to give you personalised fire safety advice.

Request a Safety Visit

You can request a Safety Visit by contacting your local NSW Fire Station. Find and call your local fire station here.

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