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NSW residents assess own fire risk NSW Fire Brigades and GIO launch Australian first online Home Fire Safety Audit

Published: 22nd July 2010

In an Australian first, NSW Fire Brigades and GIO have introduced a free, online Home Fire Safety Audit to help NSW residents identify and take action against fire risks in the home.

"A house fire is one of the most traumatic and devastating events an individual or family can experience. GIO is proud to partner with the NSW Fire Brigades in the launch of a tool that is intended to increase fire safety awareness and help reduce fire risks in homes across NSW," says GIO Executive Manager, Michael Cook.

NSW Fire Brigades Commissioner, Greg Mullins, says the online audit, www.homefiresafetyaudit.com.au, is the first of its kind in Australia and will provide NSW families with a much needed fire safety 'refresher'.

"In 2009, the NSW Fire Brigades responded to more than 4,500 house fires across the state. Australians know to 'get down low and go go go' in a fire, however there is concern that Australians are forgetting good fire safety behaviours," says Commissioner Mullins.

"Cooking is the leading cause of home fires in Australia, but faulty appliances, overloaded electrical circuits, candles and flammable liquids can all add to the risk of fire in the average home."

The easy-to-use online audit guides families through various rooms in their homes including the kitchen, bedroom, laundry and garage to identify key fire risks particular to their home and habits.

NSW Minister for Emergency Services, Steve Whan, says all residents in NSW should put aside ten minutes to complete the Home Fire Safety Audit. 

"Whether you live on your own or with a family of ten, you can be at risk of fire. The Home Fire Safety Audit can provide an accurate assessment of preventable fire risks around the home," says Minister Whan.

At the end of the audit, users receive a fire risk rating and a list of practical steps to help them reduce the risk of a fire occurring in their home. They will also have the option to register to receive additional fire safety information and a reminder to re-take the audit in 12 months time to gauge if their fire risk has improved.

"The Home Fire Safety Audit helps identify the fire risks that are specific to your home, such as piggy-backing double adapters on powers boards, not cleaning lint filters in clothes dryers and keeping flammable liquids and chemicals in unsafe locations throughout the home," says Mr Cook.

"The audit is also the first tool in Australia to benchmark fire safety awareness and risks in the home, helping individuals and families to keep fire safety awareness top of mind throughout the year."

The NSW Fire Brigades will use anonymous data from the Home Fire Safety Audit to identify ongoing fire risks and to help raise fire safety awareness in NSW communities.

The Home Fire Safety Audit has been produced as part of the GIO and NSW Fire Brigades Community Partnership which began in 2009. In March 2010, GIO also helped the NSW Fire Brigades to launch an Australian-first Recovery Kit, to assist people in the aftermath of a house fire.

"GIO and the NSW Fire Brigades are dedicated to educating NSW Communities about fire risks. The Home Fire Safety Audit will allow all NSW residents to reduce the risk of a home fire, protecting their family and their property," concludes Mr Cook.
 
To take the Home Fire Safety Audit visit: www.homefiresafetyaudit.com.au.

Download the Home Fire Safety Audit fact sheet (PDF, 33KB)