Be aware of extra fire risk during cooler months
FIRE and Rescue NSW is urging residents to take every precaution to avoid a fire in the home.
Ballina FRNSW Leading Station Officer Erin Rampling said the cooler months see a 10 per cent increase in the number of home fires, with more fires in bedrooms and loungerooms due to heaters, electric blankets, and the like.
"Don't put yourself or your family at risk. We want to remind people to be careful when using heaters and to keep everything in the house 'a metre from the heater'," Mr Rampling said.
There are a number of simple steps residents can take to prepare their our home against the risk of fire this winter:
• Fire Safety Checklist: Visit fire.nsw.gov.au and download the checklist to perform in your home. Completing the checklist will help prepare your home for the cooler months ahead which is the most dangerous season for fires inside the home.
• Turn off heaters and electric blankets before leaving home or getting into bed.
• Clean lint filters in the clothes dryer before or after each use.
• Don't overload powerboards.
• Keep candles away from curtains and put them out before leaving the room.
• Don't use LPG cylinders for cooking or heating indoors as they can leak and the gas is both toxic and highly explosive.
• Ensure you have a working smoke alarm.
Officer Rampling said residents should also "keep looking when cooking" to avoid kitchen fire catastrophes.
"Kitchen fires account for 45 per cent of all residential fires and 34 per cent of injuries in NSW," he said.
"Flames or heat sources being left unattended are the most common cause contributing to kitchen fires. It can take just three minutes for a fire to take hold, but only seconds to prevent one.
"To avoid kitchen fire catastrophes, we urge people to "keep looking when cooking". It's a simple way to avoid losing your home or even worse, your loved ones or your own life."
For more information, visit www.fire.nsw.gov.au