Firies warn of increased fire dangers over winter

FIRE & Rescue NSW firefighters at Queanbeyan Fire Station are warning local residents they could be faced with the hefty repair bill if they are complacent about home fire safety this winter.

"Winter is the worst time of the year for home fires, with more than 60 per cent occurring between the cooler months of May and September," senior firefighter Bronwyn Griffith said.

"Firefighters see the devastating personal cost these fire can have on residents and the community, not only physically and emotionally, but there are also considerable financial costs if you have to make repairs to your home as a result of the fire.'

FRNSW responded to more than 1910 home fires in NSW between May and September last year. Nearly half, 47 per cent, of those fires started in the kitchen.

"Tragically, home fires in the cooler months are also far more serious and are more likely to result in injuries and deaths. During this period last year, home fires resulted in 11 deaths and 230 injuries," Ms Griffith said.

"Don't leave your fire safety to chance this winter - assess the risks and take the precautions needed to prevent a fie in your home."

Other winter fire safety tips include:

- Turning off heaters before going to sleep

- Keep clothing and other flammable materials at least 1m from heaters and open fires

- Turning off electric blankets before going to sleep

- Not overloading power points

- Not leaving cooking, and other open-flame materials such as cigarette and candles, unattended.

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