Firies open virtual doors to the community to spread winter safety message

Published: 15 May 2020

Hundreds of fire stations across the state will be digitally opening their doors to the community for Fire and Rescue (FRNSW) Open Week, inviting people to learn more about how to stay safe this winter. 

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said it was more important than ever to prepare homes for winter, as families were spending more time at home due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

“Firefighters spent a tumultuous summer protecting NSW residents from the fires raging outside the home, but now is the time for residents to take care, listen to the experts and ensure your families are protected from the dangers inside the home,” Mr Elliott said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has also seen many people rightly using more hand sanitiser, but they must be reminded that sanitiser contains flammable alcohol and they must ensure their hands are completely dry before coming into contact with a naked flame.”

From 10am this Saturday 16 May until 4pm Friday 22 May, the community will be able to go on a virtual tour of their local fire station with live demonstrations, Q&A sessions with firefighters, and gain an inside look into what goes on behind closed doors to protect the community from fire, floods, natural disasters and pandemics.

Acting Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell said Fire and Rescue have aligned their open day to the Get Ready for Winter Campaign, which is the perfect time for communities to get in touch with their local firefighters and discuss home safety.

“This open day, our firefighters will walk you through how to check your smoke alarms and help you come up with a fire escape plan via Facebook live.”

Mr Fewtrell said winter is the time when we see an increase in residential house fire related fatalities, so it was important residents remember to be careful when using heaters, fireplaces, and electric blankets this winter.

“Don’t put your family at risk this winter, check that all your appliances are switched off and ensure that open fires have been fully extinguished. If we all do our bit to minimise the risks in our homes, we can all stay safer together,” Mr Fewtrell said.

Some simple steps you can take to make your home safer this winter include:

  • Never leave cooking unattended
  • Only working smoke alarms save lives – test your smoke alarm today
  • Don’t keep anything within one metre of your heater
  • Don’t overload power boards with appliances
  • Set up strong fire screens in front of open fires
  • Turn off your electric blanket at night
  • Do not use outdoor heating and cooking equipment inside your home.

The use of this type of equipment can lead to the build-up of fatal carbon monoxide.

You can keep you with open day activities by visiting Fire and Rescue NSW or by following your local fire station on Facebook. 

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