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Spring clean potential home fire dangers

Published: 5th September 2006

On the 5 September 2006, the NSW Fire Brigades and AAMI launched the Spring Community Fire Safety Calendar, highlighting ways to avoid spring fire hazards, especially in the backyard.

"In preparation for higher temperatures and higher fire risk of spring, the NSWFB and AAMI are asking householders to spend a day in the house and garden to make sure that all combustible items are secured or cleaned away," John Crommie, AAMI NSW Regional Manager said.

"We suggest householders have a look around the home, garage, garden and shed to remove clutter and debris which can catch alight or block a fire exit. Also take a moment to check hoses, smoke alarms and other fire safety equipment are in good working order," Mr Crommie said.

"Fires can occur at any time, so we are urging residents to follow simple precautions to avoid a catastrophic fire this spring," NSWFB Commissioner Greg Mullins added.

Barbecue safety

Potential dangers associated with the barbecue can be easily avoided.

"Check the condition of all hoses and connections to make sure they aren't damaged, inspect gas cylinders for rust or damage and ensure connections are correctly tightened on the barbecue before lighting," Commissioner Mullins said.

"Ensure your barbecue is cleaned to remove any ignitable materials that may have built up over winter, use the correct start up and shut down procedures, have a hose on hand at all times and comply with local fire restrictions. It is also important to supervise children near the barbecue," Commissioner Mullins said.

Calendar note: check total fire bans and smoke alarms

Total Fire Bans usually start in October and are declared on days when the weather is very hot, dry and windy. During a fire ban, fire permits are suspended and fires may not be lit in the open.

To check if a fire ban applies call 1800 679 737 to get Statewide recorded fire ban information, check the NSW Fire Brigades website or the NSW Rural Fire Service website, or call your local NSWFB fire station or Rural Fire control centre.

"For those NSW homeowners who have not installed a smoke alarm it is important you do this soon because from 1 November it is illegal not to have at least one smoke alarm in your home," Mr Crommie said.

"Families should also ensure they prepare and regularly practice their home escape plan."

The Spring Calendar is the third joint NSWFB-AAMI seasonal calendar to alert the community to the particular fire risks of each season and actions they can take to reduce fire danger. Firefighters use the calendar to educate the community about those risks.