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Fire and Rescue NSW commits to safety visits across NSW

Published: 22nd July 2019

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) announced its Safety Visits program in Singleton today, with the aim of improving fire safety in 1,000 higher risk homes in the local area and 60,000 homes across NSW.

FRNSW Commissioner, Paul Baxter said the fire prevention and education program will see firefighters visit homes to deliver critical fire safety advice and install working smoke alarms where they’re needed most.

“Winter is the worst time of year for home fires, with more fires occurring in bedrooms and loungerooms due to heaters, electric blankets and other electrical devices. Our firefighters have already responded to more than 450 residential fires this winter, including a number of deadly fires, and we don’t want these numbers to continue climbing,” said Commissioner Baxter.

“The Safety Visits program draws on historical data about where fires occur and the reasons why, so we can target areas with an increased fire risk across NSW and help prevent fires from occurring.”

FRNSW firefighters hope to visit approximately 1000 homes in Singleton to ensure there is at least one working smoke alarm in every home and provide advice to residents on how to reduce the risks of fire.

“Like the whole community, our firefighters were deeply affected by last month’s tragic house fire in Singleton. We want to show our support for these local firefighters and help them prevent similar tragedies in the future,” said Commissioner Baxter.

Minister for Emergency Services, David Elliott urged residents to support the Safety Visits program as it rolls out to 60,000 homes in higher risk areas over the next 12 months.

“The recent spate of deadly house fires is a tragic reminder of the importance of fire safety in our winter months,” said Mr Elliott.

“Make sure your home has a working smoke alarm, prepare a home escape plan and practice it regularly, and please take the advice of our dedicated firefighters if they knock on your door for a Safety Visit.”

Some other simple steps the community can take to prevent a fire at home this winter include:

  • Never leave cooking unattended and always Keep Looking When Cooking.
  • Keep everything – furnishing, curtains, clothing - one metre away from the heater.
  • Do not overload power boards with these extra winter appliances – such as heaters, electric blankets and dryers.
  • Ensure flues and chimneys are regularly cleaned.
  • Turn off electric blankets at night.
  • Do not use outdoor heating and cooking equipment inside the home.

For more information about the Safety Visits program visit www.fire.nsw.gov.au or contact your local FRNSW station.