Festive season a prime time for fire and theft

NEW South Wales firefighters and police are urging the  local community to ensure they protect their homes from fire and thieves this festive season.

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Superintendent Ian Krimmer urged people to take care in the kitchen and with barbecues over the festive season.

"Summer is a time for celebrating the festive season and the start of the New Year, and many of us cook big meals for our family and friends," Supt Krimmer said.

"It is also the time of year when people get distracted when cooking - kitchen fires account for more than half of all residential fires, and we see an increase in the number of fires involving barbecues at this time of year.

"More often than not, the cause of those fires is that cooking has been left unattended.

"If you are going away, remember, fires can, and do, occur in unoccupied houses and units. Ensure you prepare your home before you leave by switching off and unplugging electrical appliances and make sure smoke alarms are working."

NSW Police Force's Corporate Sponsor for Crime Prevention, Acting Superintendent Steve Henkel, said for those who celebrate away from home, it was important to assess your home security.

"Home security can be as simple as making it difficult for someone to gain entry by using key-operated locks on all doors and windows," Act Supt Henkel said.

"Also, limit the information you post on social media about your holiday or a day out - never post how long you'll be away for."

Further security tips and information can be found at http://www.police.nsw.gov.au, and for more fire safety tips, visit http://www.fire.nsw.gov.au

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