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Unfortunately during winter, while we’re all trying keep warm, we can also inadvertently increase our home’s fire risk if we don’t use our heaters and fireplaces correctly.
Before you turn on your heater or start using your fireplace this winter, make sure they are safe to use and ensure that your heaters are in good working order and free of dust. If you have a fireplace, make sure that your chimney has been swept out, this should be done annually.
Fires and heaters also need to be watched and they should never be left unattended! Also make sure that nothing flammable is kept near them.
Before the cold weather sets in it’s also a good idea to check your home’s smoke alarms to make sure that they are all working and have had their batteries changed. Households are encouraged to change smoke alarm batteries every 6 months.
Overgrown gardens can be another fire hazard during winter, as a lot of people feel less inclined to go out and do the gardening when it’s cold outside and the plants aren’t as bright. So before it gets too cold, go outside and rake up the leaves and clean out your gutters so that your property is clear of any potential fire hazards.
If you follow the above tips then you can help prevent a fire from occurring at your home, but remember if there is a fire at your home, to evacuate sooner rather than later and make sure you discuss home fire escape plans with your family so that everybody in the house knows what they would do in case the worst was to happen.
There are some great tips on how to be prepared for fires and how to help prevent them at www.fire.nsw.gov.au. Remember a fire-ready family is a fire-safe family.