Fire safety during the festive season


As the holiday season approaches, ensuring fire safety in your strata residence is paramount. Home fire safety is a collective responsibility in strata and proactive preparation can prevent potential tragedies.

Consider the following checklist to safeguard your home and your community:

Indoor Safety Measures

  • Use only one electrical item per power socket, avoiding overloading power boards or using double adaptors. Opt for power boards with overload protection and earth leakage devices for maximum safety.
  • Choose decorative lights with an Australian Standards label, adhering to manufacturer instructions during setup and regularly check lights and electronic decorations for faults, worn plugs, and frayed cords.
  • Inspect plugs and leads of used decorative lights, replacing them if in doubt about their working condition.
  • Keep decorative lights away from children and flammable materials, such as wrapping paper, decorations, or curtains. Avoid leaving burning candles unattended.
  • Place candles safely, away from Christmas trees and other flammable items, and out of children’s reach. Extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Switch off all electrical displays and decorative lights before bedtime.
  • Ensure your home is equipped with an adequate number of working smoke alarms, tested regularly, and supported by a written home escape plan.
  • Don’t leave food unattended when cooking.
  • Clean your lint filter in your clothes dryer before or after each use. Ensure there is adequate air flow around your dryer. Don’t leave the dryer operating when you’re not home.

Outdoor Safety Measures

  • Before using a gas, electric, or wood BBQ, check it for safe working order, always supervised by a responsible adult.
  • Keep lighters and matches out of children’s reach, emphasising their use as tools for responsible adults only.
  • Exercise caution with stored chemicals and fuels in garages or sheds. Refuel lawn equipment when cold and in open spaces.
  • In bushfire-prone areas, ensure your gutters are cleared of leaves and litter to reduce fire risk.

Lithium-ion battery safety

  • Make sure a smoke alarm or heat alarm is working in rooms where batteries are charged or stored.
  • Do not charge batteries when sleeping or not at home.
  • Charge batteries on hard surfaces that can’t catch on fire like concrete floors or tiles. Don’t charge them on surfaces like beds, sofas, or carpet.
  • Large batteries like the ones used in e-scooters, e-bikes, and power-tools, should only be charged in the garage, shed or carport, away from living spaces and exits.
  • If the charger didn’t come with the device or battery don’t use it. Only use approved chargers to charge your battery.
  • Only use chargers that show the Australian Regulatory Compliance Mark Tick.
  • Charging a device or battery with the wrong power output (voltage and current), can cause damage to the battery and overheat it which can cause a fire.
  • Batteries that show any signs of damage should be disposed of carefully as they carry the risk of becoming involved in a fire.

General Fire Safety Tips

  • Understand that smoke from a fire can cause confusion, making it challenging to navigate.
  • While asleep, you may not smell smoke, and it can lead to a deeper sleep.
  • Use fuses of recommended rating and install an electrical safety switch for added protection.

Report any concerns you may have about a resident jeopardising community safety. Your vigilance can make a difference.

OCN’s Emergency Readiness Survey

If you haven’t done so already, please take a couple of minutes to complete OCN’s Survey on Emergency Readiness. Your input will be used to create a free Emergency Readiness Kit. For Strata Committee members, complete this survey, for residents and owners, complete this survey. The survey will close 10 December.


Note: This guide is also available on our owners portal, My Property.


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