Firefighters offer free home smoke alarm tours as winter concerns rise
Fire and Rescue NSW is stepping up its home fire safety efforts after a string of fatalities and near misses since the start of the colder months.
People have been urged to get a $30 “life-saving” smoke alarm – but there’s another easy step to take, too.
Emergency Services Minister Steph Cooke said members of the public can contact their local fire station for help.
“Our FRNSW firefighters will come to your home to give you home fire safety advice, including help with installing a working smoke alarm. If you don’t have one, they can install it for you. you at no cost,” Cooke said.
FRNSW Deputy Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell said that as part of the safety visits program, firefighters provide essential fire safety advice and operate smoke detectors where they are needed most.
“Our safety visit program relies on historical data on where and why fires occur, so we can target areas of increased fire risk and help prevent fires,” Fewtrell said.
“Winter is the worst time of year for house fires, with more fires in bedrooms and living rooms due to radiators, electric blankets and other electrical appliances.
“It only takes three minutes for a fire to take hold in your home, so it’s extremely important to have a working smoke alarm – it alerts you quickly to get out and minimizes the risk of injury or death.”
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She said this winter there have already been 13 deadly fires and more than 680 residential fires this winter.
Here are some other simple steps you can take to prevent a home fire this winter:
- Never leave the kitchen unattended and always watch while cooking
- Keep everything – furniture, curtains, clothes – one meter from the radiator
- Don’t overload electrical panels with those extra winter appliances – such as heaters, electric blankets and clothes dryers
- Make sure flues and chimneys are regularly cleaned
- Turn off electric blankets at night
- Do not use outdoor heating and cooking equipment inside the house