Download the PDF file: Home Security

In trying to keep intruders out of our homes, we often overlook the need to escape ourselves in the event of fire. There are many security devices which prevent intruders from getting in or thieves removing goods. However, if a fire occurs the danger is that these security devices may prevent you and your family from getting out of the house, or delaying your escape and causing injuries.

The South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) has attended house fires where sadly, victims have been found inside, behind dead-locked doors. They have been unable to find the key to the dead-lock and get out.

We strongly recommend the following strategies concerning deadlocks and security grills:

  • Windows and security devices must be easy to open from the inside to allow a quick escape.
  • Windows with security devices should incorporate quick release mechanisms.
  • Make sure everyone can operate security barred doors and windows.
  • The best option is to install door locks or deadlocks which can be opened from the inside without keys.
  • Do not deadlock your doors when you are at home unless you are prepared to leave the key in the lock. If there are glass panes in the door, consider leaving door keys on a hook in the centre of the door, out of reach of potential intruders or installing a security screen on the glass. Looking for keys and trying to fit them into locks in a very hot, dark, toxic, smoke-filled environment may cost you your life.
  • Limit the number of keys needed to open deadlocks. Have all your deadlocks keyed alike.
  • Install and maintain smoke alarms to provide early warning of fire and time to escape safely.
  • All the people in your home should talk about and plan how to get out in the event of a fire. Prepare and practise a Home Fire Escape Plan.


For further advice:


Phone: (08) 8204 3611

Country Callers: 1300 737 637

Want more information about escaping a fire in your home?

Look at our Home Fire Escape Plan Fact Sheet