PEDESTRIAN.TV has partnered with Victoria‘s Metropolitan Fire Brigade and Country Fire Authority to give you some fire tips on NOT burning your dwelling down to a pile of smoldering ash. For more information on avoiding setting your crib ablaze, head to the Safe Mistake Zone website HERE


Reckon Kev uploading a severely off-bone photo of you at Brett’s gatho last weekend is detrimental to your personal brand? Pfft. Try shaking off the negative stigma you’ll incur by you, or your roommates, setting your Kmart-clad terrace ablaze. 

While your reputation might currently be front-of-mind when contemplating your house burning down, it’ll be the least of your worries. 

How To Avoid Setting Your House On Fire So Society Thinks You’re An Adult

More people die or suffer injuries in house fires than bushfires. As Victoria’s fire agencies report, during 2015 there were 3,211 PREVENTABLE house fires in Victoria which caused over $70 million property damage and nine deaths. 

We’d like to stress, once again, that they were P R E V E N T A B L E. 

Where in the house did they take place?

  • 41% of those fires started in the kitchen
  • 7% in the bedroom
  • 9% in the lounge room

The below serves to highlight the easiest ways you can torch your abode so that you can avoid ’em like you would the drunken advances of a bent-out-of-shape weirdo at the club. 

GOOD LUCK EVERYBODY. 

HOARDING YOU + YOUR ROOMIES’ STUFF  

Our twenties are a period of transition. More often than not, we’ll jump from house to house, and during that process, we accumulate a heap of stuff. In addition, our roommates have a lot of stuff too, leading to the inevitable double-up. So why don’t we throw out our spare sandwich toaster when Jason’s is better? Because you might still need yours if you and Jason have a barney over not cleaning his sandwich toaster properly.

How To Avoid Setting Your House On Fire So Society Thinks You’re An Adult

Just to clarify, there’s a big distinction between hoarding and keeping bulk possessions. 

“Hoarding is the persistent accumulation of and lack of ability to relinquish large numbers of objects or living animals,” says the MFB and CFA’s websites.   

“It results in extreme clutter in and around premises, compromising the intended use of premises and threatens the health and safety of people concerned, animals and neighbours. Hoarding is a progressive and chronic condition.”

Hoarding is serious fire risk and one that requires professional help. If you know someone in this situation, please contact a mental healthcare provider.

Hoarding, or excessive clutter (which happens to many of us in share-house scenarios) is dangerous for several reasons, including: 

  • “Accumulation of possessions results in an abnormally high fuel load and greater opportunity for ignition.”
  • “Blocked exits and narrow internal pathways impede escape for the occupant and access for firefighters.”
  • “Non-functional gas or electricity may result in unsafe practices for cooking and heating”

Our advice? Ditch the non-essentials. There’s no point in clutching on to the thought you’ll reuse something if you’re, y’know, dead in a year’s time. 

BEING A CIGGIE BUTT BRAIN

Besides metaphorically setting fire to the contents of your wallet, cigarettes are also a phenomenal way to burn your crib down.

If you’re in a very rare situation (for 2016’s standards at least) and are able to smoke indoors, don’t be an idiot – smoking in your bed might make you feel as if you’re in a silver screen movie, but it’ll likely go from Breakfast At Tiffany’s to The Towering Inferno REAL quick. Burning embers and flammable sheets? Nup. Screw that. 

How To Avoid Setting Your House On Fire So Society Thinks You’re An Adult

Your ashtrays should also be heavy and high-sided so the embers have nowhere to go. 

PLAYING ‘MASTERCHEF’ WHILE SMASHED

Saturday night’s come to an end. You’re on your way home, drunk as all hell and bae-less. As your Uber winds its way through the streets, you contemplate what barely-edible creation you’ll make with the three ingredients occupying your fridge – a Mystery Box Challenge worthy of your culinary prowess. 

How To Avoid Setting Your House On Fire So Society Thinks You’re An Adult

How good are you, right? You’re saving yourself $25 that you desperately need to pay your phone bill with, rather than blowing it on your kebab / chicken-salt smothered chips / Coke Zero combo.

Nek minut, your house is up in flames and you’re still hungry.  

Firstly, the likelihood of you cleaning up your stovetop, grill, oven and cooking area in general while you’re inebriated is, let’s face it, pretty damn low. Fires can easily start from this residue – including dust, grease and oil. 

You’re more likely to forget that your stove or oven – whether it’s electric, gas or induction –  is on after using it when you’re drunk as well, which could lead to a fire breaking out. You could also leave your gas on too, causing you to suffocate in your sleep.

Combustibles like paper towels or tea towels left too close to your oven / stove could also cause hellish temperatures in your abode. 

GOING HAM WITH MOOD-SETTING CANDLES

It’s Friday night, your roommates are out and bae’s on their way over. You’ve got a selection of Dusk candles pumping out conflicting scents that are making the whole joint smell like a perfumery that’s been invaded by feral cats, but you’re too toey to notice. Hmmm, what will really wow bae? MORE CANDLES OF COURSE. 

How To Avoid Setting Your House On Fire So Society Thinks You’re An Adult

You then litter every spare inch of space in your lounge room with tea lights you scored for next-to-nothing from Ikea

Bae walks in. Bae is impressed. Bae drops their coat on the ground and rushes you upstairs to get on the good foot / do the bad thing. Bae’s coat catches on fire. Bae dies. 

Moral of the story? BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL WITH YOUR CANDLE USAGE PEOPLE. 

Seeing as they’re now the staple for literally every person in the world’s birthday, here’s a couple of tips for using candles:

  • Don’t leave them burning for longer than necessary – set an alarm if you have to and blow those bad-boys out.
  • Use them sparingly because the more there are, the higher the risk of incidents.
  • Don’t have them on top or around anything that’s flammable, even if the candle’s housed in something that looks like it’d block contact with a combustible material.

If you’re yet to have set your house ablaze then well done!!!!!!!!! You go Glen Coco. Being proactive to ensure that remains the case, however, is still hella important. Practicing fire safety is paramount to being an adult in society’s eyes, so brush up on your knowledge by heading to the Safe Mistake Zone website HERE.

Photo: Star Wars.