A busy start to 2013 proves house fires still happen

Published: 8th February 2013

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) experienced one of its busiest Januarys in history with more than 600 bushfires, floods and storms, and nearly 300 house fires.

FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said 2013 had got off to a busy start and the statistics showed that despite the focus being on natural disasters, house fires are still happening.

“In January, we took nearly 12,000 Triple Zero (000) calls and attended 291 house fires resulting in 35 injuries and 2 deaths,” Commissioner Mullins said.

“There’s been a further 27 house fires already and we’re only in the second week of February.

“Every day firefighters attend residential fires that could have been prevented with a few simple steps and precautions. Sadly, this includes fires where people have been killed or seriously injured.

“The weather may be warmer leading most people to think that bushfires are the only concern, but house fires still happen.

“It can take just three minutes for a fire to take hold, but only seconds to prevent one. It can be as simple as turning off electrical appliances before you go to bed, keeping a close eye on the stove and barbecues when you’re cooking or cleaning the lint filter on the clothes dryer.

“The problem is complacency – people assume it will never happen to them. But I assure you it can. These figures speak for themselves.

“The most important thing you can do in your home is to have a working smoke alarm and a practiced home escape plan.”

To help identify potential risks in the home everybody is encouraged do a free FRNSW/GIO online home fire safety audit at www.homefiresafetyaudit.com.au