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Use candles safely during power blackouts, urges Fire Commissioner

Published: 6th July 2011

Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins is urging residents to use candles safely during power blackouts after wild weather has left many households without electricity.

"Our fire and rescue crews have already responded to two house fires in the Blue Mountains this morning which they suspect were caused by candles the residents were using during the power blackout," Commissioner Mullins said.

"With some homes still without electricity and more wild weather predicted to continue today in some parts of the state, we want to urge householders to take candle fire safety seriously.

"Leaving candles unattended or in places where they can fall or set alight flammable items such as curtains or upholstery poses a real danger.

"Make sure candles are on a secure base and never place them near an open window or near opened flammable liquid containers.

"Most importantly, extinguish them if you leave the room and always before going to bed. Also ensure matches or lighters are stored in a secure place out of reach and sight of children."

Commissioner Mullins also reminded residents to also ensure they had working smoke alarms fitted.

"A smoke alarm alerts you to a fire and a home escape plan helps get you and your family out alive. Prepare and rehearse a home fire escape plan so you know the quickest routes out of your home if your smoke alarm activates.

"You can also check how safe your home is from the risk of fire by doing a fire safety audit at www.homefiresafetyaudit.com.au ."