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Home Safety Guide

Is your home safety up to scratch? Find out some simple ways you can help keep yourself, your family and your home safe.

September 2020 – 3 minute read

What’s in this article:

  • Protecting your home from fire
  • Keeping safe when renovating your home
  • Using a generator safely


 

Replacing smoke alarm

Your home should be your sanctuary. Unfortunately, hazards can sneak in. These home safety tips can help safeguard your family, home and belongings all year-round.

Protecting your home from fire

  • Replace your smoke alarm batteries every year and test these every few months to ensure they work.
  • Download the emergency checklist (PDF 1MB) and make sure everyone living in your home know where it’s located.
  • Create a fire emergency plan and make sure all  members of your household know what to do to get out quickly and safely.
  • Check solar power systems to ensure they are in good working order.
  • Ensure down lights aren’t covered by ceiling insulation as this is one of the lesser known causes of home fires.
  • If you see any  damaged power points or switches around your home, make it a priority to get these repaired immediately for electrical safety.
  • Throw away any damaged electrical appliances and leads.
  • For water safety, avoid using electrical appliances in wet areas like your bathroom or near pools.
  • Install safety switches and test them every 3 months.
  • Sounds intuitive, but for child safety remember to keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
  • Keep flammable material away from heaters and don’t dry your clothes directly on them.
  • Install a fire extinguisher near your outside grill or BBQ if you have one.
  • Turn off kitchen burners if you leave the room or go out.
  • Clean hotplates and ovens, as food spillages or grease can be a fire hazard.
  • Shake breadcrumbs out of your toaster.
  • Check electric blankets and heaters for damaged controls and wires.
  • Keep clothes dryers clear of lint and make sure the exhaust duct is well ventilated when switched on.

Renovating your home

  • Make sure you know where live electrical cables are located in wall cavities before you cut holes, or drive screws or nails into your walls.
  • Always use a certified electrician to do any electrical work.
  • If you purchase electrical accessories or appliances that need to be hard wired, make sure you use a certified electrician to install and connect them.
  • Always turn off the main power supply before you go into the ceiling space.
  • Be aware of overhead power lines when using ladders outside your home.

Using a generator

Only use a generator for portable appliances such as a bar fridge and never use it inside an enclosed space such as a garage or carport, as you may get carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure you also stay within the generator load rating.

Vehicle accidents and power lines

If an accident happens near you, remember that the vehicle, fences and trees in contact with the fallen power lines may be live so don’t touch them. Advise occupants of the vehicle to stay where they are and keep any bystanders well away from power lines. Call emergency services for immediate help.

Check insurance

It’s important to make sure your home and contents insurance is up-to-date.


Check if your premium can be lowered if you’ve improved your home security, or if the policy covers your property when it’s vacant more than 60 days and if its new for old replacement.

 

Download the emergency checklist:

Emergency checklist (PDF 1MB)


 

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