QFES encourages families to race to fire safety this winter

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services The Honourable Mark Ryan

Queensland families are being urged to get ready, get set, get house fire prepped this winter.

A new digital advertising campaign launched this week is reminding Queenslanders of the importance of having a fire escape plan and working, well-maintained smoke alarms.

Winter marks peak season for house fires state-wide, with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services crews responding to approximately 40 incidents each week during cooler months, since 2015.

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said just 23 per cent of young families felt well-prepared for a serious house fire and 38% did not have a fire escape plan so it was important to particularly target this demographic with the new campaign.

“House fires can impact anyone, in any type of home and can move quickly, but we know that families with young children have the added consideration of making sure very small children get out safely too,” Mr Ryan said.

“Having a clear, simple and well-practised fire escape plan and working smoke alarms will save lives because it gives you the earliest warning of a fire and a clear plan to get out quickly.

“Everyone, especially young families, should plan what they will do in an emergency.”

Mr Ryan said creating a fire escape plan was quick and easy.

“Young children are particularly vulnerable to smoke inhalation and toxic fumes, should the unthinkable happen,” he said.

“Making and practising a plan is quick, easy and can even make something scary, fun for children.

“QFES even has a fire education program specifically designed for teachers and their Year 1 students.

“I urge all Queenslanders to get ready, get set and get house fire prepped this winter.”

QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said almost half of house fires started in the kitchen.

“It’s important to remember to never leave cooking unattended, keep flammable items like tea towels and oven mitts away from cooking areas and keep the saucepan lid handy as it could be used to smother a fire,” Mr Leach said.

“Common household items used during the winter months such as heaters and electric blankets can also be a fire hazard if not used or maintained correctly.

“Our firefighters are ready to respond to house fires but families need to be prepared, have a fire escape plan in place and remember to be vigilant when using cooking equipment, heaters or electrical items.”

Mr Leach also reminded residents to make the switch to interconnected smoke alarms before the state-wide deadline in 2027.

“When one alarm goes off, they all go off, and every second counts in a house fire so the earlier you are warned, the better your chances are to get out safely,” he said.

Fire education resource for teachers: qfes.qld.gov.au/safety-education/teaching-resources/FireEd

Home fire safety tips and to prepare your fire escape plan: qfes.qld.gov.au/fireescape

Information about smoke alarms: qfes.qld.gov.au/smoke-alarms

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