Fire and Rescue NSW reminds residents how to be safe this winter

Fire and Rescue NSW is reminding everyone to take precautions to prevent a fire in their home as temperatures continue to drop and heaters and electric blankets are switched on.

House engulfed with flames. Photo: file photo

House engulfed with flames. Photo: file photo

There is a ten per cent increase of home fires in winter, according to Fire and Rescue NSW community safety and research Chief Superintendent Mick Morris said.

It was only last week that three children died in a house fire in Singleton.

"Don't put yourself or your family at risk. We want to remind people to be careful when using heaters and to keep everything in the house 'a metre from the heater,'" Chief Superintendent Morris said.

These are a few safety tips from Fire and Rescue NSW:

  • Turn off heaters and electric blankets before leaving home or getting into bed;
  • Clean lint filters in the clothes dryer before or after each use;
  • Don't overload power boards;
  • Keep candles away from curtains and put them out before leaving the room;
  • Don't use LPG cylinders for cooking or heating indoors as they can leak and the gas is both toxic and highly explosive;
  • Ensure you have a working smoke alarm.

Chief Superintendent Morris said residents should also "keep looking when cooking" to avoid kitchen fire catastrophes.

"Kitchen fires account for 45 per cent of all residential fires and 34 per cent of injuries in NSW. Flames or heat sources being left unattended are the most common cause contributing to kitchen fires," he said.

"It can take just three minutes for a fire to take hold, but only seconds to prevent one."

Fire and Rescue NSW recommends the following simple safety checklist for cooking at home:

  • Never leave cooking unattended. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the stove. It takes just three minutes for a fire to take hold, but only seconds to prevent one;
  • Don't put anything metallic in the microwave;
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children;
  • Don't cook under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • Turn pot handles inwards to avoid being knocked or grabbed by children;
  • Keep your oven and range hood clean. Excess grease and fat can ignite in a fire;
  • If your pan catches fire, don't throw water on it - get out, stay out and call triple zero (000).

For more information, visit www.fire.nsw.gov.au.