Victorian fire agencies, the MFB (Melbourne Fire Brigade) and CFA (Country Fire Authority) have teamed up to launch a clever and quirky campaign designed to increase awareness of how small mistakes at home can cause fires, and how frequently this occurs.

The latest statistics are rather alarming (pun intended), showing that there were a total of 283 preventable and avoidable home fires in Victoria in the month June 2014 alone. CFA Deputy Chief Officer Gavin Thompson explains that “unattended cooking, smoking, poorly maintained appliances or hanging clothes too close to a heater are all common culprits.”

Recognising that traditional communication around home fire safety is targeted at children, the agencies took a vastly different approach to stimulate engagement and educate adults, using humour to convey their important messages. Creating an engaging and interactive “Safe Mistake Zone” the campaign took to the streets of Melbourne on Wednesday 3 July, setting up at Federation Square and enabling Victorians to come and make a variety of safe mistakes including committing to a bad tattoo, posing for a really bad family portrait, marrying a stranger or getting a new hairstyle from someone with absolutely no training. At the same time people were learning about the range of unsafe mistakes which commonly cause house fires and the MFB hosted live safety demonstrations showing, for example, how to put out a kitchen fire.

Some very important lessons were delivered through this initiative and Detector Inspector applaud the authorities involved for creating what will hopefully be a highly successful campaign. Having said that, the value of smoke detectors, and smoke detector services and maintenance cannot be understated. Should a fire break out, every second counts, and a working smoke alarm is your best bet in minimizing the damage to your property or potential loss of life.

Visit the Safe Mistake Zone website at to watch the official video, get the Safe Mistake home fire stats infographic and even make your own #safemistake online.