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Home safety checklist

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
  • Prepare an Essential Emergency Kit 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 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
  • Throw away any damaged electrical appliances and leads
  • 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 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 power 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

Vehicle accidents can bring down 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.

Things you should know

View the Home and Contents Insurance Key Fact Sheets.

Home and Contents Insurance is issued by Westpac General Insurance Limited ABN 99 003 719 319 (except workers compensation cover where applicable). Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 distributes the insurance, but does not guarantee the insurance. This information does not take into account your personal circumstances. Read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDF 11MB) to see if this insurance is right for you.