Deniliquin’s Fire & Rescue NSW is urging residents to take every precaution this winter to avoid a fire in the home.
Deniliquin brigade Captain Martin Smith said firefighters usually see a 10 per cent increase in the number of home fires during the cooler months, particularly in bedrooms and lounge rooms where heaters, electric blankets and similar appliances are used.
‘‘Do not put yourself or your family at risk,’’ Capt Smith said.
‘‘We want to remind people to be careful when using heaters and to keep everything in the house a metre from the heater.
‘‘As we head into the colder months, make sure you have good, safe, operating equipment if you are going to leave the heater on or other heating equipment.
‘‘If you have any concerns, be actively safe and get the appropriate trade staff to check it out.’’
Other simple steps you can take to prepare your home against the risk of fire this winter include:
●Turning off heaters and electric blankets before leaving home or getting into bed.
●Cleaning lint filters in the clothes dryer before and after each use.
●Do not overload powerboards.
●Keep candles away from curtains and put them out before leaving the room.
●Do not use LPG cylinders for cooking or heating indoors as they can leak. The gas is both toxic and highly explosive.
●Ensure you have a working smoke alarm.
Capt Smith said there is also a greater focus on the ‘‘keep looking when cooking’’ motto this year, to avoid kitchen fire catastrophes.
“Kitchen fires account for 45 per cent of all residential fires and 34 per cent of injuries in New South Wales,’’ he said.
‘‘Flames or heat sources being left unattended are the most common cause contributing to kitchen fires.
‘‘It can take just three minutes for a fire to take hold, but only seconds to prevent one.’’
FRNSW recommends the following simple safety checklist for home cooks:
●Never leave cooking unattended. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the stove.
●Do not put anything metallic in the microwave.
●Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
●Do not cook under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
●Keep your oven and rangehood clean. Excess grease and fat can ignite a fire.
●If your pan catches fire, do not throw water on it; get out, stay out and call triple zero (000).
You can learn more about winter fire safety at tomorrow’s Deniliquin FRNSW open day, to be held at the George St station from 10am to 2pm.
The open day will include safety demonstrations, fire station tours, the chance to inspect firefighting equipment and trucks used by firefighters and various kids activities. There will also be a free sausage sizzle.
In the meantime, for more fire tips, go to www.fire.nsw.gov.au..