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Byron Shire
August 12, 2022

Safety call as winter fire deaths increase

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The State Government is calling for residents, landlords and tenants across the State to make sure they have a working smoke alarm in their home, after two fatal blazes in the past 24 hours.

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the risk of death in a house fire was significantly reduced if working smoke alarms were installed.

Member for Cootamundra and NSW Minister for Emergeny Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke PIC: FB

‘Since the start of June we’ve lost nine people in house fires across the State, which is more than double the entire 2021 winter death toll of four,’ Ms Cooke said.

‘Fire can engulf a home in a matter of minutes and while smoke won’t wake you up, a smoke alarm will, which could be the difference between life and death.’

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Acting Deputy Commissioner Trent Curtin said it is the responsibility of landlords to ensure there are working smoke alarms in rental properties.

‘It’s the law for all properties to have at least one working smoke alarm installed on every level of the home,’ Acting Deputy Commissioner Curtin said.

‘Landlords are responsible for the installation of smoke alarms in rented premises. After the tenancy begins, the tenant is responsible for replacing the battery, if needed, in battery-operated smoke alarms. Landlords must replace the batteries in a hard-wired smoke alarm.

‘And if you live in a rental property, I urge you to test your smoke alarm and make sure it’s in good working order. If there’s no smoke alarm or it’s faulty, contact your landlord immediately. It may just save your life and that of your loved ones.

Since 1 June, FRNSW has attended 373 house fires across NSW.

Of these, 44 per cent did not have working smoke alarms, while a further 20 per cent did not a have smoke alarm installed.

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  1. Don’t believe the government.
    To significantly reduce fires in your home and save on electricity use, the way to do it is not to have heaters in your home.
    Ban them. Buy up on woolen blankets and winter clothing. When the body is enclosed in blankets the enclosed body heat will keep you warm.
    And exercise. Rely on your own body and use intelligence and reduce home electricity and gas costs and fires. Oh, and don’t smoke.

    • Heaters and smoking are not the only cause of house fires. There are many causes, eg electrical faults, lint filters in dryers, cooking fires… been to many fires where people have started to cook food and fell asleep. Working smoke alarms save lives. Full stop!!!!I know, because I have been a professional firefighter for almost 20 years.

    • That is the dumbest logic. should we ban all electricity because any circuit has a chance to cause a fire? should we ban roads because driving also kills people? should we ban swimming in the ocean because its dangerous? should we ban walking outside in a storm because we might get struck by lightning?


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