Fire authorities are reminding residents to take fire safety seriously after a spate of house fires in many suburban areas.
“Winter is the worst time of year for house fires and we have seen this in recent weeks with five unit fires and seven house fires,” said Commissioner Greg Mullins of the Fire and Rescue Authority of NSW.
“The injuries sustained in these fires serve as a reminder for people to take action now to reduce their chances of becoming fire victims.
“More than 60% of home fire deaths occur during the cooler months of May to September.
“New figures show that since January there have been 964 kitchen fires or 62% of all residential fires [in NSW]. A third of these, or 341, were the result of cooking catching alight.
“The peak time of day for home fires is between 5pm and 7pm.”
Mr Mullins said home fire safety should not be left to chance.
“The best way to keep your family out of harm’s way and identify potential risks is by doing an online home fire safety audit and making sure you have working smoke alarms and a practised home escape plan.”
People can greatly reduce their risk of fire by identifying and changing risky behaviour and habits, including:
1. Turning off heaters before going to sleep
2. Keeping clothing and other flammable materials at least 1m from heaters and open fires
3. Turning off electric blankets before going to sleep
4. Not overloading power points and power boards
5. Not leaving cooking, and other open-flame materials such as cigarettes and candles, unattended.
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Potential risks in the home can be identified via the free online home fire safety audit at www.homefiresafetyaudit.com.au