Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is strongly urging the Yass Valley community to stay out of harm this winter by being ‘home fire safe’.

There is a 10 per cent increase in the number of house fires during the cooler months with more fires in bedrooms and lounge rooms due to heaters, electric blankets, and the like.

In 2020, FRNSW attended 3740 residential house fires. This year, it has already attended more than 1270 residential house fires. Of these, seven have been preventable fatalities.

FRNSW Deputy Captain Nicholas Whiting said it was vitally important for people to have a working smoke alarm in their home and to test it regularly.

“Every year, approximately 20 people die in NSW from fires that could have been prevented,” he said.

Yass FRNSW Deputy Captain Nicholas Whiting

“Each death is a tragic loss for families, friends and the wider community.

“Additionally, for each fire fatality, there are also hundreds more people who survive a fire but suffer life-changing health consequences.

“A fire can take hold in just three minutes, filling your home with deadly smoke.

“For less than the cost of a family takeaway dinner, you can install a smoke alarm which
may just save your life and the lives of your loved ones.

“Don’t become a statistic – stay out of harm and have a working smoke alarm this winter.”

FRNSW Deputy Captain Mr Whiting said firefighters are committed to reducing the risk of home fires and to protecting the irreplaceable.

“However, the best way to stay out of harm this winter is to take measures to prevent a fire from occurring in the first instance,” he said.
FRNSW remind the community to:

• keep looking when cooking
• don’t overload power boards
• keep everything a metre from the heater
• never use wheat bags to warm your bed
• check electric blankets for frayed cords and other damage
• don’t use outdoor heating and cooking equipment inside the home as it can be fatal
• have a Home Escape Plan

Most importantly, if a fire does occur, get out, stay out and call Triple Zero (000).

For more information about home fire safety, visit www.fire.nsw.gov.au/winter