Australia’s fire seasons will only become longer and more severe. This is according to the recent findings of the Bureau of Meteorology and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO) state of the climate report. The report is published every two years and measures the trends observed in Australia’s climate. This year’s report reveals that Australia’s warming trend, which has started in 1910, is continuing, with the temperature going up by 1C every year. This means that there will be an increase in extreme heat events, fire season and drought. With the overall climate becoming increasingly hot, the frequency of fires happening all over the country will only increase. The only way to prevent fires from happening is by minimising the risks. Here are some ways to identify and reduce fire hazards at work and at home.
- Store flammable materials in a safe and locked place. Most household cleaners and other cosmetic products are highly flammable. Keep these products away from sources of fire and store them in a cool, dry cupboard away from the reach of children.
- Check heating sources. No matter what kind of primary heating you use at home, you can reduce your risk of fire by cleaning and inspecting them before and after use.
- Keep your stove and oven clear of flammable materials. Don’t leave rags, curtains, mittens, pot holders and other materials that can catch fire near your stove or oven.
- Regularly check the condition of your cords. Watch out for frayed wired and power sockets that heat up. Never route your cords under the rug or carpet.
- Test your smoke alarms. Test your smoke alarms once a month to make sure they are working. Check also for other problems with your smoke alarms such as non-responsive detectors or no display.
- Keep your fire extinguisher handy. Always keep one in your kitchen, garage and other hazardous areas of the house.
- Conduct a fire safety risk assessment on your workplace. This is to ensure that all fire hazards are identified and taken cared of.
- Keep flammable materials away from machines. Machines produce heat so a fire can break out when the machine comes in contact with paper, plastic, cloth, and other flammable materials.
- Don’t throw your cigarette butts everywhere. Don’t throw your cigarette butts everywhere.
- Install a fire protection system. Aside from smoke alarms, you can also install a sprinkler system, fire doors, and emergency lighting especially for fire exits.
- Make fire extinguishers accessible. You should keep them in strategic places all over the workplace so that they can be easily accessed during emergencies.