Cold snap puts heat on fire safety

WITH the cold weather set to continue, Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is urging residents to take every precaution to avoid a fire in the home.

FRNSW Community Safety and Research Chief Superintendent Mick Morris says the cooler months see a 10 per cent increase in the number of home fires, with more fires in bedrooms and lounge rooms due to heaters, electric blankets, and the like.

“Don’t put yourself or your family at risk; we want to remind people to be careful when using heaters and to keep everything in the house ‘a metre from the heater’,” he said.

Chief Supt Morris said residents should also ‘keep looking when cooking’ to avoid kitchen fire catastrophes.

“Kitchen fires account for 45 per cent of all residential fires and 34 per cent of injuries in NSW. Flames or heat sources being left unattended are the most common cause contributing to kitchen fires,” he said.

“It can take just three minutes for a fire to take hold, but only seconds to prevent one.

“To avoid kitchen fire catastrophes, we urge people to ‘keep looking when cooking’.

“It’s a simple way to avoid losing your home or even worse, your loved ones or your own life.” For more information, visit

Easy checklist for home cook

FIRE and Rescue NSW recommends the following simple safety checklist for home cooks:

Never leave cooking unattended. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the stove. It takes just three minutes for a fire to take hold, but only seconds to prevent one;

Don’t put anything metallic in the microwave;

Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children;

Don’t cook under the influence of alcohol or drugs;

Turn pot handles inwards to avoid being knocked or grabbed by children;

Keep your oven and rangehood clean. 

Excess grease and fat can ignite in a fire; and if your pan catches fire, don’t throw water on it – Get out, stay out and call triple zero.