Firies urge residents not to be complacent about fire safety

Published: 16th September 2019

With a cold snap predicted over the next few days, Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is urging residents not to be complacent about fire safety in and around the home.

FRNSW Manager Community Engagement, Superintendent Michael Jay said the recent warmer weather may result in the community becoming less vigilant about fire safety.

“We see an increase in the number of home fires in cold weather, with more fires in bedrooms and loungerooms due to heaters, electric blankets, and the like,” he said.

“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’.”

There are a number of other simple steps you can take to prepare your home against the risk of fire including:

  • Never ever leave cooking unattended and always remember to Keep Looking When Cooking. If possible, keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket handy in the kitchen
  • Do not overload your power boards with extra appliances such as heaters, electric blankets and dryers
  • Wheat bags may help to ease aches and pain, but they can also lead to burns and fire if improperly used. Don’t sleep with a wheat bag at night, as it might ignite.
  • Turn off your electric blanket at night
  • Do not use outdoor heating and cooking equipment inside your home. The use of this type of equipment indoors could lead to the build-up of carbon monoxide which could be fatal.

Superintendent Jay is also reminding residents that only working smoke alarms save lives.

“Test your smoke alarm today and make sure its fully operational,” he said.

“On average, more than 30% of preventable home fires occur at this time of year, with 60% of these occurring overnight (between 6.00pm and 6.00am).

“Before you leave your house or go to bed each night, check that all your appliances are switched off and ensure that open fires have been fully extinguished. If we all do our bit to minimise the risks in our home, we can all stay safer together.

For media resources, visit