Homeowners are being reminded to develop and practice their fire escape plans and put safety first as the temperature drops.
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Jack Dempsey said winter was traditionally a busy time of the year for Queensland firefighters, with more house fires reported.
“We promised at the election to revitalise frontline fire services and have already delivered Queensland’s first budget of more than half a billion dollars for fire and emergency services,” Mr Dempsey said.
“Typically, there is a spike in residential structure fires during June, July and August and although firefighters are well equipped to respond, residents also need to take responsibility.”
Mr Dempsey joined QFES in urging residents to maintain the freeze on fire fatalities.
“There were no residential structure fire deaths recorded in Queensland from June until August 2013 and we want to keep it that way,” he said.
“The Queensland Government has a strong plan for the future of fire services, unlike Labor, and we want every Queenslander to have a fire plan for their families too.”
QFES Commissioner Lee Johnson said people were more likely to panic during a house fire if they hadn’t prepared.
“A fire escape plan can reduce stress and avoid panic. It is imperative that residents know what a smoke alarm sounds like and that everyone in the family knows what to do if a fire occurs in the home,” Mr Johnson said.
“Find an appropriate meeting place outside of the home where everyone can meet, such as the letterbox, which is away from the smoke and fire.
“Make sure all residents of the house practice the fire escape plan regularly, at night, with the lights off, standing and crawling. This will ensure they know what to do and in the event of a life-threatening fire.”
Mr Johnson said Queenslanders could receive assistance in developing their fire escape plan and ensuring their home was fire safe by booking a free Safehome visit.
“Local firefighters conduct Safehome visits, which are sponsored by NRMA Insurance, to assist residents with completing their fire escape plans and recognising and eliminating fire and safety hazards around the household,” Mr Johnson said.
To organise a Safehome visit, contact 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or visit www.fire.qld.gov.au
To find out more about fire escape plans, visit www.fire.qld.gov.au/communitysafety/ or search for the hashtag #FreezeFireFatalities on www.facebook.com/QldFireandRescueService and www.twitter.com/QldFES