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Fire Commissioners urge vigilance after horror night

Published: 10th July 2011

NSW fire authorities have warned people to remain vigilant about home fire safety after a horror night in which two people died in house fires across thestate.

A woman died in a house fire at Greendale and a man died in a blaze at his Gunnedah home. Meantime, a Bonnyrigg family of four escaped a fire which completely destroyed their home thanks to a working smoke alarm.

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Commissioner Greg Mullins and Rural Fire Service (RFS) Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said last night's tragic loss of life was a grim reminder of the fire dangers that existed in the family home.

FRNSW Commissioner Mullins said: "Sadly household fires occur too often in the colder months. Just this weekend alone, fire crews have attended more than 25 house fires since Friday night to late this (Sunday) morning.

"Winter is the busiest time for firefighters, with FRNSW statistics showing 43 per cent of all fire deaths occurring in just three winter months.

"People need to be vigilant in their homes this winter and take basic steps like turning heaters off and don’t leave cooking unattended.

"A fire can take hold in only three minutes while you are asleep, so it is vital to have enough suitable smoke alarms, and a home escape plan."

NSW Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said householders should always remain mindful that fires can occur in all parts of the home. While the majority of fires originate in living areas such as the lounge, kitchen and bedrooms, almost a third of home fires start in other areas like hallways.

"A faulty fusebox, unattended candles, or an overloaded powerpoint could start a fire that destroys your property, or worse, injures your family," Deputy Commissioner Rogers said.

Fire authorities, in partnership with sponsor GIO, are encouraging householders to complete an online Home Fire Safety Audit as part of the winter fire safety campaign at: www.homefiresafetyaudit.com.au