All fired up!

THE Queanbeyan Fire Station are throwing open their doors this Saturday, May 17 for their annual Open Day.

It's a chance for the community to get a closer look at the station's fire engines and firefighting equipment. There will also be demonstrations including a simulation of a kitchen fire and carving up an old car as well as station tours and fire safety presentations.

More importantly, firefighters will be on hand to provide advice on installing smoke alarms, changing batteries and preparing a home fire escape plan.

"With winter approaching, the Open Day is a timely opportunity to talk to the experts about home fire safety," Station Commander Gary Dick said.

"Winter is the worst time of the year for home fires, with 60 per cent of all house fires occurring in the cooler months of May to September."

Station officer Mark Beachcroft said now was the time to be checking that heaters are working correctly and families have the right measures in place.

"We're starting winter so things like electric blankets that haven't been used, pull them out and turn them on and make sure they're working ok," he said.

"When you're putting heating on in the house ... if you're going to place things like clothing in front of heaters make sure it's at a good distance because they can catch fire.

"Also, people are starting to use their clothes dryers more so they should make sure they clean out their lint filters.

"If you have a inbuilt wood heater clean out your chimney. The safest way to dispose of ashes is to bury them or at the very least douse them in water to make sure they're out. Don't just place them in the bin because they can catch fire."

For those who can't make the open day, the FRNSW/GIO online home fire safety audit is one of the best ways of assessing home fire awareness and identifying the risks throughout the home. Go to: www.homefiresafetyaudit.com.au.

The Queanbeyan Fire Station Open Day will be held on Saturday, May 17 from 10am to 2pm.

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