Stuart Ayres MP, Member for Penrith today urged home owners to take simple precautions to protect life and property during the peak winter house fire season.
The State’s annual fire safety awareness campaign reminds home owners what they can do to reduce risk of fire in their home.
“Winter is an especially dangerous time of the year for home fires, with more than 60% occurring in the cooler months between May and September,” Stuart Ayres said.
“Fire & Rescue NSW responded to 1,910 home fires across NSW between May and September in 2013. Sadly, some of these fires resulted in human fatalities, or serious injuries.
“The tragic part is most of these could have been prevented with a few simple steps and precautions.”
Preventable fires not only have a personal toll, they also impact on emergency services, hospital staff and others in the community who respond to the blaze and deal with its aftermath.
At the recent campaign launch, Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins and NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons reminded homeowners to take time to make necessary checks of their homes, and to avoid being complacent.
Commissioner Mullins warned householders they could pay a hefty price for complacency, with a fire in the home costing an average $46,000.
“On average, firefighters attend 102 home fires a week during winter alone. Nearly half of these fires (47 per cent) start in the kitchen,” he said.
“Don’t leave your fire safety to chance this winter. Have a working smoke alarm and a practised home escape plan and do our free online fire safety checklist (at www.homefiresafetyaudit.com.au) to identify risks in your home,” Commissioner Mullins said.
You can reduce the risk of fire in your home by:
turning off heaters before going to sleep.
- keeping clothing and other flammable materials at least one metre from heaters and open fires.
- cleaning lint filters on the clothes dryer before use each time.
- turning off electric blankets before going to sleep.
- not overloading power points.
- not leaving cooking or other open-flame materials such as cigarettes and candles unattended.
If a fire does break out, don’t fight the fire – get out, stay out and call 000 (Triple Zero).