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Victorians urged to make safe mistakes in a new home fire safety campaign

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23 Jul 2014
New Campaign tells of how small mistakes at home can cause fires

Victoria’s fire agencies will today launch a campaign that aims to increase awareness of the thousands of preventable home fires that are caused by small mistakes each year.

New statistics show that in the past month alone (June 2014), there were 283 preventable home fires^^ in Victoria.

“So many house fires are caused by small mistakes in the home, mistakes that could have been avoided,” CFA Deputy Chief Officer Gavin Thompson said.

“Unattended cooking, smoking, poorly maintained appliances or hanging clothes too close to a heater are all common culprits.”

“Our research shows that many people think that traditional messages around home fire safety are directed at children rather than adults, and so don’t necessarily engage with them,” MFB Commander Trent Curtin said.

“We needed to do something different to get Victorians to engage with what is a critical safety message, so this year’s campaign uses humour to get people thinking differently about fire safety in the home.”

Instead of telling people what not to do, MFB and CFA have developed an approachable, light-hearted campaign centering on an interactive “Safe Mistake Zone” where Victorians will be encouraged to get mistakes out of their system where they can’t cause a home fire.

The campaign uses humour to draw attention to the unsafe mistakes we make in the home by contrasting them to these light-hearted ‘safe mistakes’ that can be made via the campaign.

The campaign will launch at Federation Square today with an outdoor ‘Safe Mistake Zone’ – a visually engaging display of safe mistakes that people can come and make, such as crimping your hair, being in a bad family portrait, tying the knot to a stranger or getting a bad tattoo. Each of these activities may be a mistake, but at least they will be a Safe Mistake that won’t cause a home fire.

At the event, MFB will also hold a live fire safety demonstration for media to show how to safely put out a kitchen fire, to highlight one of the most common small mistakes people make that result in a home fire – leaving cooking unattended.

Visit the Safe Mistake Zone at Federation Square on Wednesday 23 July between 8am to 2pm to make your own Safe Mistake and visit to make a #safemistake online.

Key Home Fire Statistics:

•             In 2013 there were 3,559* preventable residential fires.

•             These fires resulted in an estimated $90 million^ in property loss.

•             There were 283 preventable house fires in Victoria in June 2014^^.

•             Two out of five of these fires took place in the kitchen.

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