Residents urged to check their electrical goods, smoke alarms as cool weather hits

SAFETY FIRST: NSW Fire and Rescue Inspector Peter Nugent has urged residents to ensure they have working smoke alarms. Photo: Peter Hardin 160418PHE020

SAFETY FIRST: NSW Fire and Rescue Inspector Peter Nugent has urged residents to ensure they have working smoke alarms. Photo: Peter Hardin 160418PHE020

The weather might be cooling off, but the fire danger is heating up according to local fire officials.

With temperatures as low as 12 degrees and as high as 29 predicted for this week, it’s a sure sign that the April cool change is here.

But along with it comes a heightened risk of fires as residents turn to electrical items and wood fires to keep them warm on those chilly nights.

NSW Fire and Rescue Region North 3 Inspector Peter Nugent said, sadly, it was all too common for fire crews to be called to house fires in cooler conditions.

But there were some ways residents can reduce the risk and not become a victim.

“There are common things like making sure heaters are kept well away from curtains by at least one metre,” he said.

“Don’t put your wet laundry over heaters to dry.

“We can’t stress highly enough to make sure smoke alarms are working and to change the batteries in them.

“Check your electrical appliances and electric blankets.”

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Inspector Nugent said a big thing on the warning list this year for firefighters was mobile phone chargers.

“Make sure that teenagers don’t put them on charge and slip them under their pillow or in bed, we’re trying to get people to avoid that,” he said

He said slow cookers should be checked “every now and again” for safety, and it was important that “any sort of cooking” was not leave unattended while wood fires should have a clearance from any carpet or flammable materials.

“We are trying to be proactive and do home safety checks to check smoke alarms and provide other tips. We want people to have an escape plan for their house,” he said.

“Particularly two storey homes, you need to discuss with your family on how to get out. For instance if there is a fire downstairs and you could not get out, you’ll need to discuss an alternative. “