Winter Fire Safety campaign 2012

Published: 6th June 2012

Two fire fatalities on Wednesday 6 June have provided a timely reminder for the need for awareness of fire risks around the home during winter.

On Friday 1 June Fire & Rescue NSW and the NSW Rural Fire Service launched the annual Winter Fire Safety campaign. The launch was attended by the Parliamentary Secretary for Police and Emergency Services Geoff Provest and fire survivor Linda Buchan and was held at a property in Warwick Farm that was recently the scene of a fire, graphically highlighting what can happen if a fire occurs in a home.

This year, we want to make people aware of the causes of preventable fire fatalities and encourage them to change their behaviours around the home to avoid a tragedy this winter.

FRNSW data reveals that of the 281* fire deaths that occurred over the past 10 years, 177 occurred in a home. Of those, 63 per cent, on average, occurred in the five months from May to September. Last year, that figure was 80 per cent.

67 per cent of fire fatalities were male and more than 40 per cent of all fatalities occurred in the 30 to 59 years age group and the leading causes of fatal home fires, the majority of which were preventable, were heaters and electrical equipment/wiring (20 per cent), smoking materials (20 per cent) and matches or lighters (5 per cent). Complacency and inaction also contribute to house fires - a lot of people seem to adopt the ‘it won’t happen to me’ attitude and as a result they ignore the fire risks in their own home.

So don’t be complacent this winter. Avoiding a fire in the home is as simple as turning off heaters and keeping clothing at least 1m from them; not overloading power points; and not leaving cooking and other open flame materials such as cigarettes and candles unattended. And it’s vital that you always supervise children.

Make sure you do a home fire safety audit to identify the fire risks in your home and what you can do to mitigate them -

And we encourage you to watch Linda’s story – Linda never thought a fire would impact her and her family, but it did... and it can happen to you.


*Figures do not include deaths connected to the Quakers Hill nursing home fire in November 2011.