7 Myths About Fire Safety That People Still Believe

We all know that fires are dangerous. And yet, many people still underestimate fires and the importance of fire safety in their homes and workplaces. A lot of this is due to the common misconceptions that people unfortunately still have around fires and fire safety. We’re here to clear some of these misconceptions so you know what’s fact and what’s fiction. By clearing up some of these common misconceptions, we hope you and others can understand just how important proper fire safety really is.

7 Myths About Fire Safety That People Still Believe

Here are seven myths that many people still believe about fires and fire safety:

Myth #1: New buildings are always safer than older ones.

In fire safety, the age of a building is just that – a number. Although newer buildings can feel safer than older buildings, they’re not necessarily safer when it comes to fire safety. A building’s age means very little as far as fire safety is concerned. What matters most are the fire safety systems, equipment, and measures in place. No matter how new a building may be, it can be more dangerous if it’s designed poorly for fire safety or if it has faulty equipment.

Myth #2. Fire extinguishers only need to be replaced after they’ve been used.

Fire extinguishers may last for several years, but they don’t last forever. They also tend to become less effective over time. Like other fire safety equipment, fire extinguishers need to be replaced and maintained after a certain period of time, even if they’ve never been used. In fact, the Australian Standards 1851.1 requires regular maintenance schedules for fire extinguishers. On top of that, you’ll also need to check them regularly to make sure they’re serviceable and in good condition, with no signs of wear or damage.

Check out this blog for information on how to service fire extinguishers.

Myth #3. Smoke and fire alarms don’t need looking after.

Like fire extinguishers, many people assume that smoke and fire alarms last forever and don’t need maintenance or replacement once they’re installed. But, in fact, you need to check and maintain these alarms regularly. Aside from replacing their batteries or power sources once they’ve run out, you’ll also need to test them regularly to make sure they’re functioning properly. Smoke and fire alarms that are running low on power or not working properly are practically useless. There are now also new rules for smoke alarm installation and maintenance that require more monitoring and compliance. 

For more in depth information about smoke and fire alarms check out this blog.

Myth #4. Smoke from a fire will always wake you up when you’re asleep.

Although smoke has a strong and distinct smell, it’s often not enough to wake you up from your sleep at night. (It’s one of the reasons why many house and property fires are common at night.) This is because our sense of smell is often weaker when we’re sleeping. And once we do smell smoke and wake up, the fire may have likely spread already. You should never rely on your sense of smell alone to keep your home or workplace safe.

Myth #5. You have a lot of time to escape a fire.

One of the things people are most surprised about by fires is how quickly they can spread. A small flame can spread quickly and cause a bigger fire in just a few minutes (or even a few seconds), especially if there are a lot of flammable items around. And the bigger a fire gets, the faster it can spread and the more difficult it will be to put out. Always treat any fire as a serious matter, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.

Myth #6. Flames cause the most harm or injury in fires.

Although flames are indeed dangerous and life-threatening, the thing that most often injures or harms people in a fire is the smoke. Because of the many toxic substances in it, smoke can easily suffocate or cause you to faint. Thick smoke can also disorient you easily, which can make a safe and quick evacuation more difficult.

Myth #7. People instinctively know what to do when a fire breaks out.

While we all have the instinct to escape a fire, we can easily get flustered and make the wrong decisions in the heat of the moment. This is worrying because the smallest mistake can lead to grave consequences when a fire breaks out. Never assume that you, your family, or your employees always know what to do in a fire without proper fire safety training. Knowledge is power in fire safety, and proper training is essential to keeping safe during fires. To keep your family or employers as safe as possible, you should commit to orienting and training them in proper fire safety.

Need training from fire safety specialists?

As far as fires are concerned, there’s no such thing as being too safe. If you want to arm your family or employees with the right fire safety knowledge, consider enrolling them in one of our training courses to train with our fire safety specialists. We can help you keep them as safe as possible so they know what to do when a fire happens.

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Scott McElwaine
2022-02-06
The team at Australian Fire Protection are very knowledgeable and very easy to work with. Always very helpful. I have used them for Fire Safety Advisor training and evacuation diagrams and refer clients to them. I also access their reference library for content on occasion. Highly recommended.
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2021-11-26
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2021-11-25
I have been a customer of AFP for two years now and find the service always terrific. Pat Hall, the owner, takes such pride in keeping hands on with his business and he and his wife Iris run it like a family which shows with many happy staff delivering great service in their example. The team at AFP are always welcoming, punctual and deliver great quality in their work. I'd be happy to recommend this business to anyone needing advice and assistance in keeping safe.
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Phil Sheppard
2020-06-25
Lyell Scott (our training) was amazing, our branch did the warden training, first response, fire extinguisher training and emergency procedures including bomb threats. Andrea in the office was great to deal with and always friendly and helpful advise and pricing. We will definitely be using Australian Fire Protection again next year.
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