WINTER WARNING: Coffs Harbour Fire Station has plenty of safety tips for every member of the family.
WINTER WARNING: Coffs Harbour Fire Station has plenty of safety tips for every member of the family. Emily Burley

House fire dangers a hot topic for homeowners

WINTER brings the biggest fire danger around the home if not prepared.

On the Coffs Coast alone, Fire and Rescue NSW recorded 28 residential fires in 2016 with a flame or heat source left unattended as the contributing cause.

Kitchen fires are the largest single cause of house fires in the state and last year represented 45% of all residential fires and 34% of injuries.

Coffs Harbour Station Officer Sally Foote urged the installation of a smoke alarm if one is not already fitted.

"These are absolutely essential and prove time and again they save lives,” she said.

"Technology has come a long way and the new alarms have a lithium battery with a 10-year life so you don't need to keep changing them all the time.

"However, we still are happy to come out and change a battery for our elderly or infirm residents and it's just a matter of contacting your nearest fire station for assistance.”

Station Officer Foote warned of the dangers of leaving fires and heaters burning overnight or while unattended.

"Leave plenty of clearance around the heater and be very wary of using them to dry clothes,” she added.

"We can offer plenty of advice if you call us or drop into your local fire station.”

Leading insurer Suncorp is also urging residents to take precautions against the risk of fire this winter with new research revealing a significant spike in home fire claims during the cooler months.

Analysis of Suncorp's NSW home claims from 2011 to 2016 show fires during winter increase by 47% compared to summer and 29% compared to autumn.



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