Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) has issued a warning of heater fires during this week’s cold snap.

In the wake of last week’s house fire at Frenchs Forest that completely destroyed a family home and resulted in the injury of two occupants, FRNSW are urging the community to ensure they keep themselves and their families safe.

FRNSW say they have attended several house fires over the last week that have occurred because of furniture and other items being too close to heaters as people try to keep warm.

Winter is the worst time of the year for fires in the home. Over winter, FRNSW attends an average of 1,230 home fires which result in an average of 576 injuries.

Superintendent Michael Jay stressed the importance of staying safe while keeping warm this weekend.

“As temperatures decrease, we see more deadly house fires occur, with fires often starting due to fireplaces, heaters and electric blankets in bedrooms and loungerooms.

“FRNSW are reminding people to be cautious when using heaters and ensure everything is kept at least a metre from the heater, including blankets and furniture.

“Please don’t put yourself or your family at risk. Check that all appliances are switched off and ensure open flames have been fully extinguished before leaving the house or going to bed. Remember, the law requires all homes to have a working smoke alarm,” he said.

FRNSW recommend the following simple steps:

  • Never ever leave cooking unattended — ‘Keep Looking When Cooking’
  • Only working smoke alarms save lives — test your smoke alarm today
  • Keep everything one metre away from your heater
  • Do not overload your power boards with extra appliances like heaters and electric blankets
  • Ensure flues and chimneys are regularly cleaned
  • 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

For further information about winter fire safety, visit www.fire.nsw.gov.au

Image: Fire and Rescue NSW