26 September 2023

FRNSW’s winter campaign is to check for smoke

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Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) has launched a campaign urging all Australians to check that their home’s smoke alarms are in working order this winter.

FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said there were a record 16 deaths due to structure fires in NSW last winter, 12 of which had been deemed ‘preventable’ by FRNSW.

Commissioner Baxter said another 87 people were injured during the 895 winter fires in 2022.

“Working smoke alarms save lives, and sadly complacency can be deadly,” Commissioner Baxter said.

“If you’re not regularly checking that your smoke alarms are in working order, you’re putting your life and the lives of your loved ones at risk,” he said.

“The first day of winter is a great prompt to test your smoke alarms by pressing the button on the devices.

“If you can’t reach it use a broom, but don’t ‘leave it ‘til later’.”

Commissioner Baxter said by law, everyone should have working, hard-wired smoke alarms in their homes.

He said smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.

“If they’re yellowed, they are likely out of date and leaving your household at risk,” Commissioner Baxter said.

“Last winter, we had an unusually high number of people die.

“Simple steps can help save you, your loved ones, or your neighbours needlessly dying from fire in your home.”

NSW Rural Fire Service Assistant Commissioner Ben Millington said it was important for people in rural and regional areas to have working smoke alarms and that every member of the household knew what to do if there was a fire.

“In rural areas, emergency services often have to travel considerable distances to respond to house fires,” Assistant Commissioner Millington said.

“Smoke alarms and a plan can give you valuable seconds to make it out alive,” he said.

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