Spring Clean To Fight Fire

Published: 16th September 2010

Emergency Services Minister Steve Whan today encouraged people to use their annual 'spring clean' to help reduce fire risks at home.

Mr Whan said although winter - traditionally the worst time of year for residential fires - was over, it didn't mean people should be complacent about home fire safety.

"About a quarter of last year's house fires - or more than 1090 - occurred in spring last year," said Mr Whan.

"If people can use the momentum of a spring clean to clear out any rubbish, piles of old newspapers, cardboard boxes and any unused furniture it will go a long way in reducing fire risks in their homes.

"Half of all residential fires start in the kitchen, so it's essential to clean all cooking appliances and remove built-up grease from things like rangehood filters.

"Spring is also the time of year when people begin to entertain and holiday outdoor again.

That is why it's especially important to be mindful of safe handling of portable cooking and heating appliances - such as LPG-fuelled barbecues and outdoor heaters - and ensure gas hoses and o-ring seals are in good working order."

NSW Fire Brigades Commissioner Greg Mullins suggested householders visit the Home Fire Safety Audit website to help identify potential fire risks around the home.

"All houses must of course be fitted with a working smoke alarm," he said.

"By taking a few other precautions, such as practising a home escape plan, people stand a much better chance of protecting their homes and families.
"A spring clean is a perfect opportunity to make sure alarms are working. They can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner to get rid of any dust particles which reduce their performance.

"It's also important to move anything blocking a home's exit and escape points, make sure power points and power boards are not overloaded, and inspect electrical cords and equipment for damage."

To do a fire safety audit of your home visit www.homefiresafetyaudit.com.au