Fire danger: Residents urged to be vigilant

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Jindabyne Fire Station Captain David Farmer has warned Snowy Mountains residents against complacency following a unit fire at Jindabyne at the weekend. Firefighters were called to a unit fire the Kirwan Apartments on Kirwan Close at about 8pm on Saturday. When they arrived they found the kitchen and living area of a top floor apartment well alight.

The fire started in the kitchen of the premises and quickly spread to the rest of the living area. The male occupant received burns to his hands trying to extinguish the fire and was taken to hospital. Captain Farmer said the man was lucky to be alive.

“The occupant put some oil on the stove and went to the lounge to wait for it to heat up and fell asleep. When the smoke alarm went off, it woke him up and he tried to put it out,” Captain Farmer said.

“This is stark reminder to residents to make sure you have a working smoke alarm installed and never leave your cooking unattended.”

Sadly, two people perished in separate house fires at the weekend during a spate of house fires. A man died in a unit fire at East Maitland in the early hours of Sunday morning. On Saturday morning, a woman in her 60s perished in a house fire at Green Valley. 

Captain Farmer said despite the warmer weather, the evenings remained cool and householders should not be complacent about home fire safety.

“More than 60 per cent of home fire deaths occur during the cooler months of May to September,” he said. 

People can greatly reduce their risk of fire by identifying and changing risky behaviour and habits, including: 

* Turning off heaters before going to sleep.

* Keeping clothing and other flammable materials at least 1m from heaters and open fires.

* Turning off electric blankets before going to sleep.

* Not overloading power points and power boards.

* Not leaving cooking, and other open-flame materials such as cigarettes and candles, unattended.

To help identify potential risks in the home everybody is encouraged do a free FRNSW/GIO online home fire safety audit at www.homefiresafetyaudit.com.au

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