Every year in Australian dwellings, people die in fire and electrical accidents that could have been prevented. All states have regulations designed to reduce the incidence of these tragedies, but often, human behaviour is to blame. In most cases, simple precautions and complying with the law would significantly reduce these incidents.
Property Managers Have a Role to Play in Fire and Electrical Safety
As property management agents, we take the safety of our tenants seriously. We also want to prevent any property damage to our rental dwellings. When you rent a property through Ray White Bunbury, or appoint us as managing agents, you can be assured that inspections are up to date, and property repairs and maintenance reported and acted upon.
Fire Safety Information for Your Protection
To increase fire safety, we like to make our tenants aware of some important steps they can take to protect themselves and their families. Of course, this information applies equally to all of us.
- Never leave fire sources unattended, for example, food cooking, heaters, candles or open fires.
- Overloaded power boards can cause fires.
- Do not smoke indoors and especially not in bed – extinguish ash and butts.
- Keep clothing away from heaters in winter.
- Do not use damaged electrical appliances – replace them.
- Clothes dryers can catch fire if the lint filters are not cleaned after each use.
- Keep all matches and lighters out of reach of children.
- Know how to use a fire extinguisher and fire blanket.
These are all behaviours that we as individuals can make habitual.
The Value of Working Smoke Alarms
Many house fires start during the night while the occupants are asleep. Smoke alarms alert everyone to the presence of a fire, giving them time to escape. Every dwelling must have smoke alarms installed and the battery operated ones must be checked regularly to ensure they are working.
Don’t Underestimate Electricity – It is Unforgiving
Electrical safety can also be improved by awareness and good safety habits, but the absolute, not-negotiable requirement is that only licensed electricians should perform electrical work, however minor.
Again, as home occupants, we all have a responsibility to be aware of our behaviour and use electricity wisely. Some of these behaviours include:
- Keeping electrical appliances, cords and extension leads away from water. Make sure they are in good condition. Worn or frayed cords should not be used and only be repaired by an electrician.
- Placing childproof plugs in electrical outlets within the reach of young children.
- Every three months, checking that all socket and lighting circuits protected by safety switches are operational. Tenants should notify their property manager immediately if they are not.
- Avoiding the use of double-adaptors in one-plug outlets, and only using power boards with built-in safety devices.
Legislation can only solve some of the problems associated with fire and electrical safety. These safe behaviours are not just for our tenants at Ray White Bunbury, but for everyone.