Home security and fire safety


Each year in NSW some residents encounter difficulties escaping from fires within their home due to security measures and may even perish as a result of the delay. We recommend a balance between home security and home safety. It is important to be able to lock intruders out, yet in the case of fire, just as important not to lock you or your family in.

Whatever level of security you choose for your home we recommend that you take extra care when assessing the level of risk from intruders so that it also provides for a planned safe means of escape for your family should there be a fire.

Security measures that can impact on your escape from a fire

  • Deadlocks and / or multiple locks on external doors.
  • Security grilles and bars on windows or security screen doors.
  • Keyed locks or roller shutters on windows.

Fire safety measures that SHOULD be included in your home

  • Every house or home unit should have an adequate number of approved (AS3786) working smoke alarms installed that are tested regularly.
  • There should be smoke alarms on every level of your home.
  • Know two safe ways out of every room - remember, every second counts.
  • Draw your escape plan on paper and discuss and practice the plan with your family.
  • Make sure each and every window and door can be quickly opened if and when required.
  • Make sure keys to all locked doors are readily accessible.
  • Being physically impaired or frail due to advanced age can significantly affect your ability to survive if unfortunate enough to be caught in a home fire.
  • Heavy sleepers such as children or those affected by alcohol or drugs may not be woken by the sound of the alarm. Be sure this contingency is covered in your home escape plan.

Fire Safety Tips

  • Remember that smoke from a fire will make you confused and that you cannot see in smoke.
  • If you have escaped from a home fire, remember once you get out stay out and dial Triple Zero (000).
  • Let your children master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire escape drill.
  • If a family member has hearing or mobility problems ensure that these are taken into account and if necessary that someone is assigned to help them escape.
  • Home fire safety is important for the whole family and preparation can prevent a tragedy.

In an Emergency Call Triple Zero (000)

A collaboration of the Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW Rural Fire Service, ACT Fire Brigade and ACT Rural Fire Service