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New TV commercial for winter fire prevention

Published: 31st May 2010

A new public awareness campaign to warn about the danger of fires in the home this winter has been launched today by Emergency Services Minister Steve Whan.

Mr Whan launched the campaign with a preview of a new TV ad that emphasises the importance of preventing a fire in the home, rather than just reacting in case one occurs.

"Tomorrow is the start of winter – traditionally the most dangerous time of year for home fires," Mr Whan said.

"This new public awareness campaign includes a mix of TV, radio, print and digital advertising, specifically targeted at seniors and families with children – groups most at risk.

"Last winter the NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) and the Rural Fire Service (RFS) attended 1481 home fires in NSW.  Tragically six people lost their lives and 246 people were injured in these fires.

"Research found that kitchens are the hot spots for home fires, with more than 50 per cent of fires starting there, mostly because of unattended cooking."

Mr Whan said that the purpose of the new TV ad is to encourage residents to take action to reduce home fire risks to keep their families and property safe this winter.

"A fire can take hold in just minutes but taking simple fire prevention steps takes only seconds," he said.

"Switch off the stove before leaving the kitchen and never leave cooking unattended. 

"Move the heater away from flammable materials such as curtains, clothing and bedding and switch it off when going to bed. 

"Check that power points aren’t overloaded and put out naked flames like candles before leaving the room.  None of these things require a great deal of time or effort but they can prevent a deadly fire from occurring," Mr Whan said.

NSWFB Commissioner Greg Mullins said in the event of a home fire residents should get out and call Triple Zero (000) and wait for the Fire Brigade.

"If you have a fire in the home that you can’t put out get out immediately, call Triple Zero (000) from a safe place like a neighbour’s home and wait for the Fire Brigade, do not go back in.  It is vital that when you call Triple Zero (000) you stay focused, stay calm and stay on the line," Commissioner Mullins said.

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons is encouraging households to put in place a practiced escape plan that will assist with a quick escape should a fire take hold.

The campaign will run until 31 August. More information at www.3minutes.com.au