Our home is our sanctuary. A sacred place.
‘Home’ is not just where we rest our heads at night, or a storehouse for our belongings. It is where we live, relax, work, and where we enjoy family and friends. Home doesn’t have to be the perfect house, it is where we feel settled, safe and peaceful. So when something happens to our home, it can really shake us and make us feel unsettled, no longer safe or at peace.
Recently, we had our world shaken.
We are all fine, thankfully…
Just over a month ago we had an electrical fire in our daughters bedroom. I had taken the kids to school, so hubby was home alone getting ready for work when the fire started. Thankfully he was able to put out the fire. He did suffer from some smoke inhalation, and was taken to emergency to be observed.
Thankfully he was and is fine.
The fire was contained to the girls room, but the smoke and soot travelled to other rooms of our home. Unfortunately there is a fair amount of soot damage in different areas of our home.
We are now a month on from the day of the fire now, and the smell of burned plastic and smoke lingers primarily around our daughters room, and if the door is left open, the smells quickly affect other rooms in our home. There is a noticeable difference though since the day of the fire in the other areas of our home because the oxidising fans are helping dim the smoke smells. They trap the smoke smells in the filters and push out fresh air. These fans are kind of like a massive odor eaters. We have about four fans running in our house at the moment. The smokey smells are getting a lot better now that we are a few weeks away from the day of the fire.
Since the day of the fire we have been living in temporary accommodation. We have moved three times in the last month, and I am looking forward to moving into something a little more permanent while our home is being made whole for us.
Since the fire, we have learned so much about the insurance process, fire prevention, what to do in the case of fire, as well as products to protect and look after families. There is a lot of information to process.
It’s been quite an eye opening experience for us in so many ways. It turns out that no one is immune to household fires. It can happen to literally anyone, and because of this it is wise to make sure your insurance coverage actually covers you for if something were to happen. Most people need to upgrade their contents insurance. You probably need to update your contents insurance? God forbid!
So if no one is immune to a house fire, what do we all need to do, and have to help protect us?
- Every home needs fire alarms. By 2027 (in QLD), everyone needs to have fire alarms hard wired into their homes. If you have a 4 bedroom home, you will be required to have approximately 6 alarms across your home, and you need to change the battery every year. You can get an electrician to come and assess your home and quote you on how many alarms you will need. Just so you know, most people rely on the trip switch in our homes to switch off if an appliance is faulty, but if there is a fire and your alarms are hard wired into your electrical system, your alarm will not work if you have flat batteries. Fire alarms save lives when they are working. Many people change the battery in their fire alarms on April Fools Day – 1st April.
- Do not charge mobile phones, iPads/tablets or laptops on your bed.
- Every household needs at least 3 fire extinguishers. Check the expiry date on your fire extinguishers and mark your calendar.
- Buy a fire extinguisher for the car.
- Every kitchen needs a fire blanket handy to the stove top.
- Do NOT throw water on an electrical fire or an oil fire. Ever! This is incredibly dangerous.
- Buy a fire and water resistant document bag for important documents – insurance policies, birth certificates, passports, verified copies of identity, verified copies of qualifications, and anything you feel should go into such a bag.
- Everyone should keep an eye on their insurance policy and make sure your contents are accurately assured for, and make sure your policy caters for the cost of a rental if you are unable to live in your family home. Most people are under insured and this will be difficult if you should need to take advantage of your policy.
- Make a ‘GO’ bag. This is an emergency bag that if something was to happen to your home, you could grab it on the way out the door. You would have everything you need. Things you might consider to put into a ‘GO BAG’…
a) First aid kit
b) Your fire resistant document bag with a copy of important information.
c) Medications and prescriptions
d) Torch and spare batteries
e) Phone charger and power bank
f) Pen and notepad
g) A copy of your emergency contacts list.
h) A pack of period pads – I am a mother of 3 daughters!!
Some people go the next level with their emergency Go Bags and put clothing, food, maps, emergency plans and the like in it.
Now that we have had our experience with a fire, I am really thinking about ways to get more organised. I want to know that we are better prepared. I am so thankful we have insurance for our home. I will admit that I have whinged and complained about our premiums each month, but when we needed to act on our insurance policy, they have really helped us on so many levels.
I had hoped to write more this year, but it has been quite the whirlwind since the fire. Over the last month, we have had to move three times. We won’t be able to return to our home till the construction work is done. We have been told to prepare for 2-3 months. In the meantime, I hope that I will have a little time to write now that we have done our part in the process. There are still things to do, but I do find writing be quite cathartic, so I hope be able to do more so through this time.
Till next time,