Urgent appeal after 10 house fire deaths
Firefighters are pleading with the public to follow the safety advice after 10 house fire deaths already this winter.
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the death toll was more than double last winter’s figure.
“Since the start of June, tragically we’ve lost 10 lives in house fires across the State, compared to four last winter,” Ms Cooke said.
“The majority of house fire deaths are preventable, which is why it is so important to listen to the advice of firefighters and make sure you have a working smoke alarm installed for every level of your home.
“A working smoke alarm will save your life and the lives of your loved ones. Check on parents, grandparents and neighbours to help them stay fire safe.”
Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Commissioner Paul Baxter said there had been 438 house fires across the State since the start of June.
“The message is simple but not enough people are paying attention,” Commissioner Baxter said.
“We spend a lot of money on burglar alarms to stop people stealing our big screen TVs
We install smart CCTV systems to make sure no one steals our internet purchases from the front porch. We need to wake up and take simple inexpensive steps to protect our irreplaceable things, our lives.”
“Portable heaters, especially bar heaters, will kill you if you are not careful with them. Keep anything combustible a metre from the heater, clothing, curtains, couches and furniture, turn them off when you go to bed.”
47 per cent of the homes damaged by fire this winter did not have working smoke alarms, while one in five did not have a smoke alarm at all.
FRNSW advises the public to:
- Check and maintain existing smoke alarms;
- Clean and maintain any fireplaces;
- Do not use outdoor heating or cooking equipment inside your home;
- Check electric blankets are safe for use and never go to bed or leave home with your electric blanket on;
- Do not overheat wheat bags in the microwave;
- Clean the lint filter from your clothes dryer after each use;
- Always use candles under adult supervision and do not leave them unattended;
- Ensure you have a ‘home fire escape plan” and practice it regularly with your family; and
- If a fire does occur, get out, stay out and call Triple Zero (000).
Residents can help keep their homes fire safe by using FRNSW’s Get Ready for Winter checklist.
For a free home fire safety inspection, contact your local FRNSW station and visit FRNSW for more information.