Residents urged to be wary of winter fire dangers

Drying clothes on heaters in a common source of house fires in the cooler months.
Drying clothes on heaters in a common source of house fires in the cooler months.

With winter just around the corner, Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) has urged all residents to be cautious of fire dangers in the home.

FRNSW community safety and research chief superintendent Mick Morris said the cooler months see a 10 per cent increase in the number of home fires, with more fires in bedrooms and loungerooms due to heater and electric blanket use.

“Don’t put yourself or your family at risk,” Chief Superintendent Morris said.

 “We want to remind people to be careful when using heaters and to keep everything in the house ‘a metre from the heater’.”

He said that residents can follow simple steps to prepare their homes against the risk of fire this winter:

  • 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 powerboards
  • 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

Meanwhile, Taree Fire Station Commander Peter Willard said it is of high importance that older residents are prepared in case of a house fire.

“Being physically impaired or frail due to advanced age can significantly affect your ability to survive if unfortunate enough to be caught in a home fire,” Commander Willard said.

Commander Willard also recommended measures such as having an adequate number of smoke alarms in the home, knowing two safe and clear ways out of each room in the home, placing screens in front of open fires and keeping portable heaters away from any curtains, tablecloths and bedding.

Residents are reminded to contact Triple Zero (000) in an emergency situation.