Winter safety message: Keep looking when cooking

ALMOST 50% of house fires start in the kitchen, so when preparing a feast remember to keep looking when cooking.

The CSIRO Fire Sciences Laboratories recently discovered fire fighters respond to about 1,230 house fires between June and September each year - an average of 102 a week - and almost half of those start in the kitchen.

Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott said it took only three minutes for a kitchen fire to start and only seconds to prevent.

New data from GIO reveals the average insurance claim after a house fire in NSW is $51,000.

To reduce the risk of a home fire during winter, keep looking when cooking, ensure items are kept at least one metre from heaters, do not overload power points, and don't leave open flame materials, such as cigarettes and candles, unattended.

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