Home Fires Up 10% In Cooler Months

Home Fires Up 10% In Cooler Months

New South Wales Fire and Rescue

Firies Urge Residents To Be Fire Safe During Cooler Months

Victor P Taffa

With a cold snap over the next few days, Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is urging residents to take every precaution to avoid a fire in the home.

FRNSW Community Safety and Research Chief Superintendent Mick Morris said the cooler months see a 10% increase in the number of home fires, with more fires in bedrooms and loungerooms due to heaters, electric blankets, and the like.

“Don’t put yourself or your family at risk. We want to remind people to be careful when using heaters and to keep everything in the house ‘a metre from the heater’.” Chief Superintendent Morris said.

There are a number of other simple steps you can take to prepare your home 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

Chief Superintendent Morris said residents should also ‘keep looking when cooking’ to avoid kitchen fire catastrophes.

“Kitchen fires account for 45 % of all residential fires and 34 % of injuries in New South Wales. Flames or heat sources being left unattended are the most common cause contributing to kitchen fires.” Chief Superintendent Morris said.

“It can take just 3 minutes for a fire to take hold, but only seconds to prevent one.”

“To avoid kitchen fire catastrophes, we urge people to ‘keep looking when cooking’.”

“It’s a simple way to avoid losing your home or even worse, your loved ones or your own life.” Chief Superintendent Morris said.

FRNSW recommends the following simple safety checklist for home cooks:

  • Never leave cooking unattended. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the stove. It takes just 3 minutes for a fire to take hold, but only seconds to prevent one.
  • Don’t put anything metallic in the microwave.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
  • Don’t cook under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Turn pot handles inwards to avoid being knocked or grabbed by children.
  • Keep your oven and rangehood clean. Excess grease and fat can ignite in a fire.
  • If your pan catches fire, don’t throw water on it, GET OUT, STAY OUT AND CALL TRIPLE ZERO (000)

Avoid Your House Burning Down

During winter electricity costs rise through use of heaters.

Fire Brigades have an increased workload simply because many people overload power switches with heating appliances.

Best way to avoid your house burning down is to go to the local Hardware Store and buy a 4, 6 or 8 socket power board that has an overload switch in it.

Power Boards can be bought for about $6.00 or more.

Best Power Boards also have individual power switches on every socket on the Power Board.

Valuable knowledge that Editor Victor P Taffa learned when he worked at the Family Hardware store in West Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales.

New South Wales Fire Brigade wants you stay alive and not burned alive because you plugged too many appliances into a powerpoint just to save $6.00.

Your life is worth more than $6.00.

Abbreviations:

LPG                Liquefied Petroleum Gas or Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG or LP Gas)