A Gunnedah firefighter is alerting locals of the risks heaters and fire places can pose if they aren't used correctly, following a number of local housefires recently.
Fire and Rescue NSW captain Dave Welch said coming into the back end of winter, it was important to ensure all measures of keeping warm were safe, because "you can replace everything but you can't replace life".
Mr Welch said those especially with timber fires needed to make sure their chimneys were cleaned and serviced, and that only wood is used in woodfires, as other items can "make it sticky in the chimney".
"Make sure your wood isn't green and has no sap in it," he said.
It comes after four housefires in town within a month, however all of these have undetermined causes at this stage.
He also said to ensure that everything was one metre from heaters, and to roll electric blankets when storing them, do not fold them.
"Make sure they're tested and tagged regularly, if they're not in a good condition, throw them away," Mr Welch told ACM.
The firefighter said it was especially important that locals have working smoke alarms placed outside the bedroom, and said one per level in a home was a good amount.
"If you see anything suspicious, anything with smoke, call it in early. It doesn't hurt for us to have a look and we can make sure it's sweet," Mr Welch said.
"The earlier the call comes in, the more chance we have of saving it."
Other important tips for residents include:
- Never leave cooking unattended
- Only working smoke alarms save lives - test your smoke alarm today
- Do not overload your power boards with extra appliances like heaters and electric blankets
- Strong fire screens should be set up 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 indoors could lead to the build-up of carbon monoxide which could be fatal
For further information about winter fire safety, visit www.fire.nsw.gov.au