House fire safety reminder
Cessnock City Council is urging people to be aware of the risk of fires within the home and to practice safe fire behaviour this winter.
In the cooler months, electrical, gas and wood heaters are used to help warm up the home. There is also increased use of clothes driers, electric blankets, cooktops and portable heaters. It’s important appliances and equipment are regularly checked, monitored while in use and maintained to minimise the risk of fire.
Reading and following safety instructions for heating appliances and equipment will help reduce the risk. Smoke alarms save lives, without a working smoke alarm a fire can take hold very quickly. It is compulsory for every home, caravan or other building where people sleep to have an operating smoke alarm.
Most smoke alarms must be connected to electrical power supply and backed-up by batteries. Changing the batteries and testing the smoke alarm should be conducted annually, choosing a significant date e.g. birthday or anniversary, can be an easy reminder.
If you’re unsure of your smoke alarm status Council strongly encourages obtaining advice and assistance from a licenced electrician. Other fire safety measures to protect your family could include purchasing and installing a fire blanket or a house-hold portable fire extinguisher.
Create a fire safety and action plan involving the whole family and practice a fire drill regularly so everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency. Fire and Rescue NSW respond to over 4,500 residential call outs every year.
Unfortunately tragedies do occur but can be minimised by being aware of fire risks and taking preventative action. For more information and winter fire safety tips see https://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/page.php?id=9284