If you were to pick one of the most overlooked sources of house fires, where would you start?
Most of us know enough to be careful in our kitchens and with our heaters and wood burners, but what else should we be worried about?
According to Darrell Law, station officer at Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) in Goulburn, we should look in the laundry.
"People need to be more careful with clothes dryers," he said.
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"Don't overload them, and clean the lint filters, because if the air can't come out the front they'll overheat and the clothes can catch fire."
If the air can't come out the front of the clothes dryer, they'll overheat and the clothes can catch fireDarrell Law, Goulburn Fire Station
While the Goulburn region hasn't had any house fires recently - because it's a safe and sensible community, according to Mr Law - NSW as a whole has not been so lucky with several tragic incidents early in the season.
Fire and Rescue NSW today warned residents to be extra fire aware in their homes after more than 100 fires damaged homes, caused serious injury and resulted in two fatalities.
During the fires recorded so far this winter, nine people were injured, while twin three-year-old girls lost their lives in Batlow last week.
Thirteen house fires were recorded on Thursday of last week alone.
FRNSW Deputy Commissioner Field Operations Jeremy Fewtrell said with the winter period, compounded by more people staying at home during a global pandemic, people need to be extra vigilant about home fire safety.
"We are very concerned with the large number of fires we have seen this week across NSW so we urge people to stay safe and aware of any risk of fire while they are at home," Deputy Commissioner Fewtrell said.
Mr Law raised another area of concern, especially with the cold turn in the weather recently.
"People will be lighting home fires so they need to clean chimneys, and preferably get an expert to clean them out properly," he said.
"We want to be preventative more than anything."
Tips to light up safely
FRNSW provides the following tips for fire safety in the home:
- Only working smoke alarms double the chance of survival - regularly check your alarm is working.
- Keep looking when cooking - do not leave cooking unattended at any time.
- Know and practice your fire escape plan
- Don't overload power points and power boards.
- Always keep a metre from the heater
- If there is a fire get out, stay out and call Triple Zero (000)
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