Minister Gallacher launches 2012 Fire Prevention Week

Published: 30th April 2012

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Michael Gallacher has today joined Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins to launch the 2012 Fire Prevention Week campaign in Church Street Mall, Parramatta.

“Each year our fire fighters work tirelessly to remind the community that winter is the most dangerous time of year for fires in the home,” Minister Gallacher said.

“Despite these efforts, each winter they attend incidents where people are killed or seriously injured by fires, many of which could have been prevented.

“Between May and September last year there were more than 1900 home fires and 12 preventable fire fatalities. There have already been five deaths so far this year.

“A fire can take hold in as little as three minutes, so take the time this Fire Prevention Week was to assess your home, identify the risks and take the necessary steps to address them.

FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said the key aim of Fire Prevention Week to educate people about how they can prevent a fire in the home.

“A working smoke alarm will alert you and your family to a fire in your home and a home escape plan will help all of you get out safely.

“But what we really want is for people to understand how to prevent a fire from occurring in the first place,” Commissioner Mullins said.

“Preventing a fire can be as simple as turning off electrical appliances at the power point, keeping a close eye on your cooking, and ensuring that matches and lighters are kept well out of reach of children.”

Statistics from GIO reveal the cost of house fires in NSW in 2011 is estimated to be almost $1.9 billion.

“Home fires have a devastating impact on families physically, emotionally and financially. We are committed to working with FRNSW to help people prevent fires in the home,” GIO Insurance spokesman Duncan Bone said.

“This Fire Prevention Week we urge people to do the FRNSW/GIO online home fire safety audit. It will help you identify areas of risk in your home and the steps you can take to minimise danger.”

Fire Prevention Week will run from 28 April to 5 May and culminate in the annual FRNSW Open Day, where the majority of FRNSW’s 339 fire stations will open their doors to the community.

Latest statistics for residential fires attended by FRNSW in calendar years

   Residential fire Winter %* Injuries Fatalities
2011 4,193 28.7% 616 18
2010 4,400 28.2% 563 25
2009 4,535 28.9% 628 18
2008 4,597 30.3% 661 22

*Winter defined as 1 June to 31 August