With the effects of winter taking shape in the region, Taree Fire Station Commander Peter Willard has warned residents to take every precaution to avoid starting fires in homes.
This year, Fire and Rescue NSW have targeted kitchen fires, urging people to “keep looking when cooking”.
The service attends to approximately 4,500 residential fires in NSW annually, with 47 per cent of those starting in the kitchen.
More than 60 per cent of fires occur between May and September.
Commander Willard said simple measures can be taken to prevent a fire.
“Don’t put yourself or your family at risk.
“Keep looking when cooking and do not leave heaters, dryers, electric blankets or any other electrical device unattended.
“Always turn these appliances off when leaving home or going to bed.
“Also remember to check the electrical cords from fraying and other damage,” Commander Willard said.
As last year recognised a decade of smoke alarm legislation in Australia, Commander Willard urged residents to replace their existing alarms.
“Given that not all smoke alarms last beyond 10 years, this year we’re encouraging residents to replace their outdated alarms with the latest photoelectric smoke alarms, which provide earlier detection and fewer false alarms,” Commander Willard said.
He insisted the Taree community is embracing fire safety advice, as reflected during last month’s Fire Station Open Day.
“We were very pleased with the response from the Taree community.
“We had several hundred visitors come through on the day.
“The kitchen fire display was a big hit where we were able to demonstrate to people how much heat is generated and how quickly in a kitchen fire if you accidentally add water to a hot oil fire it can be disastrous,” Commander Willard said.
Commander Willard thanked all Fire and Rescue crew members for their work on the day.
“They went above and beyond,” Commander Willard said.
Residents can visit www.fire.nsw.gov.au/realarm/ to register for fire safety email alerts.