Acting Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Michael Wassing said Queensland’s Great Escape is the state’s biggest fire drill, taking place in the familiarity of all participants’ homes.

“The best way to be prepared for a house fire is to prepare and practise a fire escape plan,” Mr Wassing said.

“Last year, firefighters attended 1,935 house fires across Queensland, with nearly a third of these occurring in the winter months.


“From the time smoke alarms activate, people have only a few minutes to make their escape safely, so we are asking people to plan ahead and participate in Queensland’s Great Escape.

“It is as easy as setting yourself a reminder and Queenslanders can help save the date to save the day.”

Mr Wassing said it was essential that all households knew what to do in the event of a house fire.

“It is up to everyone to empower their kids to know how to react swiftly and safely in the event of an emergency,” he said.

“The way this can be achieved is through education and that includes teaching children how to react to a house fire.

“The best way to do this is getting the kids together, coming up with a plan and then practising until it sticks.”

Mr Wassing said creating a fire escape plan was just as important as having working smoke alarms.

“When preparing for an emergency, there are multiple factors that go into making sure a family knows how to respond,” he said.

“Just like it is important to have interconnected, photoelectric smoke alarms, it is also essential that every family has a current and well-rehearsed fire escape plan, so they know what to do when the alarm sounds.”

Mr Wassing said families should create their plans to suit a range of different scenarios to mimic real-life circumstances.

“When people are creating their plans, they need to think of multiple exit points depending on the location of the fire.

“They should then choose a safe meeting place outside and practise putting that plan into action, including in realistic settings.

“Get out the blindfolds, dim the lights and imagine getting down low and making an escape.

“Doing so goes a long way in helping all members of the family feel prepared to act in a high-pressure situation.”