Station commander Glen Groves with Mabel Paine and captain Garry Rearon, showing the importance of changing batteries in smoke alarms.
Station commander Glen Groves with Mabel Paine and captain Garry Rearon, showing the importance of changing batteries in smoke alarms. Adam Hourigan

Stay a step ahead of fires

FIRE and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) firefighters from Grafton Fire Station are urging residents to prepare for the warmer weather and reduce fire hazards around the home with a spring clean.

Station commander Glen Groves said that spring was the perfect time to clear out rubbish and debris that had built up around the home.

"People should clear any clutter from outside the home, such as piles of rubbish and weeds and ensure that nothing is blocking exit and escape points," he said.

"Firefighters have been to house fires where clutter and rubbish has burnt ferociously and crews have had trouble reaching the fire's source over the obstacles."

Household chemicals should also be locked away as part of the spring clean and out-of-date chemicals should be properly disposed of.

"Household chemicals such as pesticides, pool chemicals, caustic cleaning agents, solvents and fuel pose another danger in the home because they can result in fires," Mr Groves said.

"During your spring clean, ensure garden and household chemicals are locked away from children, check the manufacturers' instructions on the containers regarding their storage and use and contact your local council about discarding unwanted

chemicals."

Mr Groves said as part of a spring clean, residents should check power points and power boards to make sure they are not overloaded and inspect electrical cords and equipment for damage.

"As you are packing away heaters and other heating appliances until next winter, examine the cords and connections," Mr Groves said.

"It is better to repair or replace them now before you need them next year.

"Always make sure you roll, rather than fold, your electric blankets when you put them away."

He said these simple steps, coupled with working smoke alarms and a rehearsed home-escape plan, would help ensure that the home was safer from fire and chemical hazards.

Home fire and chemical safety fact sheets can be obtained from FRNSW fire stations or downloaded from the FRNSW website at www.firensw.gov.au.



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