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Byron Shire
February 26, 2021

Firies blitz Byron for safety’s sake

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Northern Rivers Zone Commander, Greg Lewis and Byron Bay Captain, Gary Speers, with a crew of fire fighters from Far North Coast, blitzed Byron Bay last week. Photo Tree Faerie.

Eve Jeffery

Last Wednesday 20 firefighters from fire and rescue stations at Byron Bay, Alstonville, Ballina and Mullumbimby, visited Byron Bay door knocking over 180 private residences in a Byron blitz.

The visits were for residents meet their firefighters and to be provided with Home Fire Safety education, advice and interventions, including planning and preparing their home before and during bush fire impact, including a survival/escape plan.

The ‘Safety Visit Blitz’ will involve firefighters visiting homes in Byron Bay to assist people in reducing their risk of accidental fire in the home, and to safely escape in the event of a fire occurring.

Reducing the risk of accidental fire in the home

Northern Rivers Zone Commander, Greg Lewis said he ‘Safety Visit Blitz’ hoped to assist people in reducing their risk of accidental fire in the home, and to safely escape in the event of a fire occurring. ‘Byron Bay Fire Station has received more than 190 calls to incidents this year – 14 per cent of these were to building fires.

COVID-19 meant that Home Fire Safety Visits had to be put on pause, and while they looked a little different, and safety measures such as masks and physical distancing were in place, we were happy that we were able to reintroduce this important service to the community.

‘During Safety Visits, firefighters check for the presence and condition of smoke alarms and install new batteries for existing smoke alarms should they be required,’ said Commander Lewis.

Personalised fire safety information

‘Firefighters asked residents to show them around their homes, so they were able to provide personalised fire safety information such as cooking fire safety, heaters and open fires, barbeques and bedroom heating and wheat bags. They can provided advice on best protecting your home in the event of a bushfire.

Firefighters also provided advice on a fire escape plan in the event of a fire occurring in the home and advised on how to call Triple Zero (000) in an emergency.

Commander Lewis said that the majority of house fires begin in the kitchen. ‘To prevent kitchen fires, it’s vital to remember to keep looking when cooking. Never leave cooking unattended, keep flammable items away from the stove and ensure you are prepared should a fire occur.’

Smoke alarms

The risk of fatality in a house fire is halved if the home has a working smoke detector. Smoke alarms must be replaced every 10 years and batteries should be checked, and changed if required, every six months.

‘Coming into summer, the backyard BBQ can be a common cause of fires. Keep your barbeque clean, remove any excess fat after cooking and ensure an adult is in charge of the barbeque at all times to remain safe.’

Firefighters left Home Fire Safety information to those residents who were not at home at the time.

Commander Lewis said during the bushfire season, one of the best tools in the Fires Near Me app, which is a free download for your phone.

For more information, visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.

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