WITH the recent spat of house fires across the Blue Mountains NSW Fire and Rescue are warning residents to remain vigilant and do your winter fire safety audit.
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“The cold has not left us just yet,” Lithgow’s NSW Fire and Rescue station officer Noel Ford said.

“With the house fires over the past few weeks occurring not far from Lithgow, along with the tragic loss of life in those fires, residents still need to be aware it can happen in any house.

“The best way to avoid such tragedy is to check your home is safe and that you have a plan if a fire does break out.”

NSW Fire and Rescue has information sheets at www.fire.nsw.gov.au or www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.

If you don’t have a computer handy follow this check list to make sure your home is fire safe this winter and spring.

l Most importantly, have an adequate number of suitable smoke alarms installed throughout your home and make sure you test them regularly. One is mandatory however two or three is more efficient.

l Make sure you and your family know two safe ways out of every room in your home.

l Have a written home escape plan in case of fire and practice it regularly.

l Never leave cooking unattended.

l If you have a fireplace in your home make sure the chimney is clean and you always have a screen in front of it when in use.

l Check electric blankets for damage or frayed cords before placing them on a bed.

l Take care to keep curtains, tableclothes and bedding away from portable heaters.

l Keep wet clothes at least one metre from heaters or fireplaces and never leave unattended.

l If you use a clothes dryer make sure you clean the lint filter each time you use it.

l Only use one appliance per power point and switch off when not in use.

l Always extinguish candles or any other open flames before going to bed.

l Always handle candles or any other open flame with care.

l Store matches or lighters in a secure place inaccessible to young children.

l Don’t hoard; this becomes an abnormally high fuel load which provides a greater op-portunity for ignition.

Don’t become nonchalant about fire safety — it could save your life.

KITCHEN FIRE: A lot can happen in three minutes; that’s all it took for the saucepan in this demonstration at this year’s Lithgow Show to catch alight. lm081612fire

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