Fire safety at home

Most house fires can be prevented by taking steps to minimise the risks.

Here are a few simple tips to help prevent fires in your home.

  • Have a fire escape plan. Make sure everyone in the home practises how to escape if there’s a house fire.
  • Always clean heaters before using them after they’ve been stored. Stored heaters collect dust, which can become fuel for a fire.
  • Test that you have working photoelectric smoke alarms. To test your alarms, press the button on the cover. The alarm should activate. If it doesn't, it's time to replace the battery. Better still, replace the alarm too.


  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Tea towels and other flammable items should be kept well away from cooking appliances.
  • Regularly clean the filter in the rangehood above the stove.
  • Every saucepan should have a lid. When using a saucepan, especially when oil is involved, keep the lid handy as it can be used to smother a fire.
  • Have a fire blanket and extinguisher available.
  • Never use water on an oil / fat fire.


  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Always switch off electric blankets before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Turn off your heater before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Never charge mobile phones or laptops on beds. Always charge on hard non-flammable surfaces.
  • Always roll up electric blankets when storing them over the summer months.
  • Keep curtains and bedding at least one metre away from heaters.


  • Remove flammable rubbish, such as oily rags, and open containers of oil or solvent.
  • Never store chemicals, such as chlorine where they can come into contact with other chemicals.
  • Petrol, Kerosene and other flammable liquids should be kept in approved containers and clearly labelled.
  • Petroleum fuels and nitrogen fertilisers can combine in an explosive mixture – store well apart.
  • Don’t use naked lights or smoke in the garage.

Lounge Room

  • Never run extensions cords under rugs or mats.
  • Place a metal mesh guard in front of open fires to contain burning embers.
  • Don’t overload powerpoints and power boards.
  • Never use appliances with frayed or damaged cords.
  • Never leave candles or incense unattended.
  • Keep furniture and curtains at least one metre from heaters.


  • Store chemical liquids such as petrol, kerosene, methylated spirits, paints and solvents away from heat sources such as BBQs.
  • Make sure you have adequate clearing around the BBQ when in use.
  • Never leave your BBQ unattended when in use.

Laundry and bathroom

  • Clean the lint filters in clothes dryers after each use.
  • Make sure the clothes dryer completes the full cycle, giving it an opportunity to cool down.
  • Turn clothes dryers off being leaving the house or going to sleep.

Visit the Queensland State Government website for details on photoelectric smoke alarms.

For more information about fire safety at home and escape plans, please visit the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service website or the Queensland State Government website.

It may just save your home and a life.