WITH the colder months fast approaching members of Gunnedah Fire and Rescue 314 are appealing to local residents to stay fire safe this winter.
Some of the service’s best firefighters are urging residents to follow simple steps to help ensure they are fire safe this winter.
Gunnedah Fire and Rescue Captain Dave Welch is one such firefighter getting on the front foot in regards to winter fire safety saying the cooler months see a 10 per cent increase in the number of fires. “Don’t put yourself or your family at risk,” Captain Welch said.
“We want to remind people to be careful when using heaters and to keep everything in the house ‘a metre from the heater’.”
Captain Welch said residents should also “keep looking when cooking” to avoid kitchen fire catastrophes.
“Kitchen fires account for 45 per cent of all residential fires and 34 per cent of injuries in NSW,” he said.
“Flames or heat sources being left unattended are the most common cause contributing to kitchen fires.
“It can take just three 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.”
Fellow retained firefighter, David Moses said there was several things residents could do to limit the risks of fire.
“Stuff like installing and using heaters and things as per the manufacturer’s instructions can help a lot,” he said.
“If you suspect a fault, have the heater serviced or replaced.”
The long-time firefighter said keeping fireplaces clean was also an easy way to limit the risk of fire.
“It’s always advisable to have strong fire screens set up in front of open fires,” he said.
“Always supervise young children in rooms with open fires or working heaters and ensure flues and chimneys are regularly cleaned.
“As always if you have a fire call 000 to report it as quickly as you can and provide us with as much detail as possible so we can deal with it as best we can.”
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