Fire safe seniors

Seniors are urged to take part in this Saturday's Fire and Rescue NSW open day.
Seniors are urged to take part in this Saturday's Fire and Rescue NSW open day. Bruce Thomas

SENIORS in Coffs Harbour are urged to take advantage of Fire & Rescue NSW's annual Fire Prevention Week.

FRNSW superintendent Dave Gray said seniors face a much higher risk from a fire in their home.

"Last year, 80% of all fire fatalities in NSW were aged 60 years and over," Supt. Gray said.

"The colder months are especially dangerous for seniors.

"Tragically, every year there is a peak in preventable fires as we move towards winter."

Supt. Gray serves as the fire commander for Port Macquarie, Nambucca Heads, Urunga, Gloucester and Coffs Harbour, one of NSW's highest regions for retirees.  

"A few simple steps will reduce the chance of a fire ruining your property, or worse, harming you or your loved ones," Supt. Gray said.

"Take extra care if you smoke while drinking alcohol, and never smoke in bed.

"If you lock your doors from the inside, make sure the keys are easily accessible.

"Practice a home escape plan, because it can take just three minutes for a fire to take hold.

"It's vital to have a working smoke alarm. To reduce the chance of a fire in the first place, ensure heating devices such as electric blankets are tested before use and well maintained, keep a close eye on your cooking, and turn off electrical appliances at the power point."

"Now is the ideal time to review your home fire safety practices - especially for seniors, who face a much higher fire safety risk."

Coffs Coast residents are invited to visit their local fire station this Saturday for the Fire and Rescue open day from 10am to 2pm.

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