2015 a deadly year for house fires

Published: 5th January 2016

There were 17 accidental fire deaths and more than 4,070 home fires in NSW in 2015 making it a deadly year for home fires.

The latest Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) figures show a disappointing increase in the number of fire deaths and home fires compared to 2014 where there were only 12 accidental fire deaths and 3,946 house fires.

There was a decrease in the number of fire-related injuries from 499 in 2014 to 486 in 2015.

Tragically, it was also a particularly busy holiday period for firefighters with four home fire deaths and more than 276 home fires in December.

FRNSW Assistant Commissioner Mark Whybro said 2016 had already got off to a busy start with more than 50 home fires since midnight on New Year's Eve.

"Every day firefighters attend home fires that could have been prevented with a few simple steps and precautions. Sadly, this includes fires where people have been killed or seriously injured," he said.

"The weather may be warmer, but house fires still happen.

"It can take just three minutes for a fire to take hold, but only seconds to prevent one. It can be as simple as turning off electrical appliances before you go to bed, keeping a close eye on pots and pans when you're cooking or cleaning the lint filter on the clothes dryer.

"The problem is complacency - people assume it will never happen to them. But I assure you it can. These figures speak for themselves.

"I don’t want to see another increase in home fires this year. Make sure you have a working smoke alarm and a practiced home escape plan."