Kids and parents braved the wet for Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Open Day.

Damp weather did not deter hundreds of local families visiting fire stations across the Northern Beaches yesterday (Saturday, 11 May). With kids already wet from the rain, many waited for a turn on the fire hose at Mona Vale and Forestville Stations.

Fire and Rescue NSW Open Day 2024

Forestville Station had dramatic demonstrations, including what happens when water is put on a fat fire (image gallery below). Stations also ran barbeques, accepting gold coin donations to raise money for charities, including Bear Cottage and FOP Australia (Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva).

Marking the 140th anniversary of Fire and Rescue NSW, FRNSW Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell (image below) said Open Day was a much-anticipated annual event enjoyed by people of all ages as well as an opportunity for firefighters to educate the community.

“Open Day is an exciting day for both the community and our firefighters who love to demonstrate the variety of work they do. Importantly, it is also a chance for them to talk to people about how to keep themselves and their loved ones safe from fires,” said Comm Fewtrell.

Jeremy Fewtrell

“Each year around 20 people die in NSW from fires that could have been prevented, while hundreds more suffer life-changing health consequences. Each death and injury are tragic for families, friends and the wider community.

“This year, we want you to prepare your homes early for winter. We see a ten percent increase in the number of home fires during the cooler months, with more fires starting in bedrooms and lounge rooms due to things like heaters and electric blankets.

“Now is the time to replace your smoke alarm if it is more than ten years old. Remember, only working smoke alarms save lives,” explained Comm Fewtrell.

Here is a snapshot of the day at our six local fire stations:

Forestville

Fire and Rescue NSW Open Day 2024
Fire and Rescue NSW Open Day 2024

Manly

Fire and Rescue NSW Open Day 2024
Fire and Rescue NSW Open Day 2024

Dee Why

Fire and Rescue NSW Open Day 2024
Fire and Rescue NSW Open Day 2024

Narrabeen

Fire and Rescue NSW Open Day 2024
Fire and Rescue NSW Open Day 2024

Mona Vale

Fire and Rescue NSW Open Day 2024
Fire and Rescue NSW Open Day 2024

Avalon

Fire and Rescue NSW Open Day 2024

Open Day marks the beginning of the winter fire season, with firefighters encouraging people to download the free FRNSW Winter Fire Safety Checklist, including checking smoke alarms are working.

This year, Commissioner Fewtrell said firefighters also provided advice on lithium-ion batteries.

“Lithium-ion batteries can be found in many portable electronic devices such as mobile phones, e-bikes and e-scooters and although these devices make our lives easier, they have the potential to put us at risk.

“Lithium-ion batteries are the fastest growing fire risk in NSW so it is important for people to understand how to charge devices safely and what they can do if they catch fire,” said Comm Fewtrell.

Open Day provides a fun opportunity for little kids (and big ones) to get a close-up look at the equipment and techniques firefighters use to keep the community safe.

While it is also a chance for people to ask questions about home fire safety, anyone with concerns can request a home fire ‘Safety Visit’ with their local fire station by visiting the FRNSW website.

Images: Northern Beaches Advocate, Luke Gavahan

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