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Be fire safe during cold snap

Published: 23rd June 2014

With strong winds and a drop in temperatures forecast tonight and tomorrow, Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Commissioner Greg Mullins has warned NSW residents to take precautions against fires in the home, particularly in the safe use of heating and cooking.

“The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds and blizzard conditions in parts of NSW tonight and tomorrow,” Commissioner Mullins said.

“Unfortunately it is during these cold and windy weather snaps that firefighters see a spike in the number of home fires and, sadly, in deaths and injuries by fire.

“On average, firefighters attend 102 house fires a week during the winter months. More than half the home fires we have responded to so far this winter have started in the kitchen.

“I appeal to families not to leave home fire safety to chance. Do not leave cooking unattended. Turn off heaters and electrical appliances before you go to sleep and keep flammable materials and clothing well away from heaters and open fires.

“The best way to keep your family out of harm’s way and to identify potential risks is by doing a FRNSW/GIO online home fire safety check and making sure you have working smoke alarms and a practised home escape plan.”

People can greatly reduce their risk of fire by identifying and changing risky behaviours and habits, including:

• Turning off heaters before going to sleep
• Keeping clothing and other flammable materials at least 1metre from heaters and open fires
• Turning off electric blankets before going to sleep
• Not overloading power points and power boards
• Cleaning lint filters in clothes dryers after each load
• Not leaving cooking, and other open-flame materials such as cigarettes and candles, unattended.

Complete a free online home fire safety check at: www.homefiresafetyaudit.com.au