New safety call as winter fire deaths double
The death toll from house fires this winter is now more than double last year’s season after two fatal blazes in the past 24 hours, prompting an urgent call for residents, landlords and tenants across the State to make sure they have a working smoke alarm in their home.
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the risk of death in a house fire is significantly reduced if working smoke alarms are installed.
“Since the start of June we’ve lost nine people in house fires across the State, which is more than double the entire 2021 winter death toll of four,” Ms Cooke said.
“Fire can engulf a home in a matter of minutes and while smoke won’t wake you up, a smoke alarm will, which could be the difference between life and death.”
Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Acting Deputy Commissioner Trent Curtin said it is the responsibility of landlords to ensure there are working smoke alarms in rental properties.
“It’s the law for all properties to have at least one working smoke alarm installed on every level of the home,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Curtin said.
“Landlords are responsible for the installation of smoke alarms in rented premises. After the tenancy begins, the tenant is responsible for replacing the battery, if needed, in battery-operated smoke alarms. Landlords must replace the batteries in a hard-wired smoke alarm.
“And if you live in a rental property, I urge you to test your smoke alarm and make sure it’s in good working order. If there’s no smoke alarm or it’s faulty, contact your landlord immediately. It may just save your life and that of your loved ones.”
Since 1 June, FRNSW has attended 373 house fires across NSW.
Of these, 44 per cent did not have working smoke alarms, while a further 20 per cent did not a have smoke alarm installed.
For a free home fire safety inspection, contact your local FRNSW station and for more information, visit Fire and Rescue NSW.