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Fire Safety & First Aid


At a time when the fire conditions across Australia couldn't get much worse, the ACT has been lucky to avoid serious threat from the bush fires ravaging the country, destroying hundreds of homes, and taking lives, including thousands of our native animals.

Meanwhile, the nations capital has been plagued by house, grass and car fires in the past two weeks, many of them deliberately lit.

Emergency services have had a busy time extinguishing significant fires in Kambah, Conder, Monash, Curtin, Majura, Chisholm and Phillip just to name a few.

-The risk of a fatality in a home fire is halved if there is a working smoke alarm in a residential property.
-In the ACT, it is AGAINST THE LAW to not have a working smoke alarm in a residence where people sleep.
-Test your smoke alarm monthly, and change the batteries at least once per year.
-Check your BBQ before use, ensuring connections are sealed and hoses are in good condition.
-Don't stop looking while you're cooking! Distractions can quickly lead to a kitchen fire.
-DO NOT ever use water to extinguish a cooking fire, the fat and oil could cause the fire to rapidly spread. Keep a fire blanket in your kitchen and use it instead.
-Keep electrical cords and power boards neat, and don't overload them.
-Have a home fire escape plan, and know it!
-Prepare your home for summer. Clean leaves out of gutters, remove piles of rubbish, weeds and leaf matter from around the home to help protect against bush fires.
-If you live in a bush fire prone area, make sure you have a Bush Fire Survival Plan in place. Ensure your hoses are long enough to reach around your house.
-Follow the rules on TOBAN days (Total Fire Ban)

The first thing you need to do to manage a burn is to stop the burning process, cool the burn (which will help with pain relief) and cover the burn to help stop infection.

-Make sure you and others are safe from hazards such as smoke or flames.
-Do not enter a burning or smoke filled environment. The atmosphere is toxic and likely 'super heated', and appropriate protective equipment is needed to do so safely. 
-If the casualty is still on fire STOP, DROP, ROLL & COVER (cover face)
-Assess the casualty's airway and breathing immediately.
-Cool the burnt area with running water for at least 20 mins.
-Avoid putting whole body in water unless necessary
-Remove any jewellery, watches and clothing from around the burnt area where possible.
-DO NOT try to remove clothing that is stuck to the skin.
-DO NOT Break any blisters
-DO NOT use ice or ice water
-DO NOT use ointments, creams or powders (hydrogel products can be used if water not available.
-Elevate burnt limbs to help reduce swelling
-Cover area with light, non-stick dressing or plastic wrap.
-Seek medical attention.

Smoke inhalation is the most likely cause of death when someone is caught in a fire.

Signs and symptoms include:
-Soot around mouth and/or nose
-Soot in saliva
-Wheezing, coughing, shortness in breath and hoarse voice
-Dizziness and confusion
-Nausea and vomiting
-Chest pain or tightness in chest
-Irregular breathing
-Blurred vision
-Numbness or tingling in fingers/toes
-Burns inside airways, mouth throat and nose.

-Move the person to fresh air
-Call 000 for an ambulance
-Sit casualty down or lay in the recovery position
-If oxygen is available, give at 8-15LPM
-If casualty is asthmatic, treat with asthma reliever
-If casualty becomes unconscious and not breathing, perform CPR

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