MEDOWIE, Williamtown, and Salt Ash residents are reminded by the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) to be aware of the danger posed by house fires during the cooler months.
Locals are especially encouraged to ensure they have working smoke alarms, an evacuation plan, and that heaters are used as per safety instructions.
NSW RFS Operations Officer Leanne Bell said that winter is traditionally the most dangerous time of the year for house fires.
“There are two main types of smoke alarms available, photoelectric and ionisation and it is important that everyone has a sufficient number of smoke alarms in their home and that they are regularly tested,” Operations Officer Leanne Bell said in an issued statement.
“While these alarms both comply with Australian Standard AS 3786, research shows photoelectric alarms detect smoke earlier, which may provide an increased opportunity to evacuate to safety.”
In addition to working smoke alarms, every home should have a written and practiced evacuation plan, so that all occupations of the household, including children, know what they should do in the event of a fire.
Medowie Rural Fire Brigade’s Community and Engagement Team Member, Mr Ken Johnson told Medowie News Of The Area, “One of the issues and danger concerns is people making sure their chimneys and flues are cleared.”
“After the 2015 storm, people burnt a lot of green timber and if the chimneys are not cleaned out, it can lead to a fire.”
Medowie, Williamtown, and Salt Ash residents who use a fire for heating need to ensure that their chimney is cleaned out properly before use.
In the case of an emergency, Triple Zero (000) should be called immediately.
Operations Officer Leanne Bell said there are some straightforward steps that people can take to reduce the risk of a house fire:
- Test smoke alarms regularly and change the battery at least once every 12 months
- Have a licensed electrician check wiring and install a safety switch
- Don’t overload power points and switch off household appliances when not in use
- Never leave open fires unattended and always screen with a proper fireguard
- Never place clothing over heaters
- Ensure heaters are placed at least one metre away from curtains, furniture, and other flammable items
- Keep matches are lighters out of the reach of children