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Fire and Rescue NSW warns of heater fires during cold snap

Published: 6th August 2020

Ahead of the cold weather this weekend, Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) are urging the community to ensure they keep themselves and their families safe at home.

FRNSW have attended several house fires over the last week that have occurred because of furniture and other items being left too close to heaters as people try to keep warm.

Superintendent Michael Jay stressed the importance of staying safe while keeping warm this weekend.

“As temperatures decrease, we see more deadly house fires occur, with fires often starting due to fireplaces, heaters and electric blankets in bedrooms and loungerooms.

“FRNSW are reminding people to be cautious when using heaters and ensure everything is kept at least a metre from the heater, including blankets and furniture.

“Please don’t put yourself or your family at risk. Check that all appliances are switched off and ensure open flames have been fully extinguished before leaving the house or going to bed. Remember, the law requires all homes to have a working smoke alarm” he said.

Bureau of Meteorology Manager, Region East, Jane Golding said the lower temperatures will continue until the weekend.

"As we saw last night, cold conditions are being felt across much of New South Wales. That's due to a strong cold front that moved through at the start of the week".

"Temperatures are expected to be well below average for many parts of the state as we continue towards the weekend. For some areas that will mean temperatures are four to eight degrees below average."

Some simple steps the community can take include:

  • Never ever leave cooking unattended
  • Only working smoke alarms save lives - test your smoke alarm today
  • Keep everything one metre away from your heater
  • Do not overload your power boards with extra appliances like heaters and electric blankets
  • Ensure flues and chimneys are regularly cleaned
  • Strong fire screens should be set up in front of open fires.
  • Turn off your electric blanket at night.
  • Do not use outdoor heating and cooking equipment inside your home. The use of this type of equipment indoors could lead to the build-up of carbon monoxide which could
    be fatal.

For further information about winter fire safety, visit www.fire.nsw.gov.au

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Note: Images from a house fire earlier this week in Fairfield that was found to be caused by a heater can be found here.