With the sudden drop in temperature, Fire and Rescue NSW has issued a statement reminding residents to take precautions to avoid fires within their homes.
FRNSW community safety and research chief superintendent Mick Morris said the cooler months see a 10 per cent increase in the number of home fires, with fires in bedrooms and lounge rooms particularly common due to home heating devices like heaters and electric blankets.
"Don't put yourself or your family at risk," he warned.
"We want to remind people to be careful when using heaters and to keep everything in the house 'a metre from the heater.'"
FRNSW advised of the following simple steps residents can take to reduce the risk of fires in the home:
- Turn off all heaters and electric blankets before leaving home or getting into bed
- Clean lint filters in the clothes dryer before or after use
- Don't overload powerboards
- Keep candles away from curtains and put them out before leaving the room
- Don't use LPG cylinders for cooking or heating indoors as they can leak and the gas is both toxic and highly explosive
- Ensure you have a working smoke alarm
Mr Morris also urged residents to 'keep looking when cooking' to avoid fires starting in the kitchen.
"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."
FRNSW provided the following checklist to reduce the risk of kitchen fires:
- Never leave cooking unattended. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the stove
- Don't put anything metallic in the microwave
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children
- Don't cook under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Turn pot handles inwards to avoid being knocked or grabbed by children
- Keep your oven and rangehood clean. Excess grease and fat can ignite in a fire
- If your pan catches fire, don't throw water on it - GET OUT, STAY OUT AND CALL TRIPLE ZERO (000)
Further information can be found here.