Your Winter Fire Safety Checklist: For seniors

Each year, the Fire and Rescue NSW attends approximately 4,500 residential fires in NSW with approximately 30% of them occurring in winter months, and 47% of fires starting in the kitchen. Being physically impaired or frail due to advanced age can significantly affect your ability to survive if unfortunate enough to be caught in a home fire.

  • The FRNSW recommend this simple safety checklist to help keep seniors fire safe this winter:

  • Have an adequate number of appropriate smoke alarms installed that are tested regularly.

  • Don't fight the fire - get out and stay out and dial '000' immediately.

  • Know two safe and clear ways out of every room in your home.

  • Make sure all keys to all locked doors are readily accessible.

  • Have an escape plan in case of fire and practice it regularly.

  • Never ever leave cooking unattended.

  • Never ever smoke in bed.

  • Place screens in front of open fires.

  • Be careful of loose fitting garments near heaters and cooking appliances.

  • Make sure heaters and their cords are not a trip hazard.

  • Consider using wall mounted heaters or oil-filled column heaters.

  • Keep portable heaters away from curtains, tablecloths and bedding.

  • Place drying clothing at least 1 metre from heaters or fireplaces and never leave unattended.

  • If you use a clothes dryer clean the lint filter each and every time you use it.

  • Don't overload power points and switch off when not in use.

  • Always handle candles or any other open flame with care. FIRE SAFETY TIPS

  • To test an electric blanket lay it flat on top of the bed, then switch it on for five minutes before putting it on the bed for use to confirm that it is okay.

  • Use only authorised installers of fixed heating appliances.

  • Oil, gas or wood heating units may require a yearly maintenance check.

  • Only use fuses of recommended rating and install an electrical safety switch.

  • If possible, in the kitchen keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket placed near the exit.

  • Never leave burning candles or any open flame unattended.


  • A collaboration of the Fire & Rescue NSW, NSW Rural Fire Service, ACT Fire Brigade and ACT Rural Fire Service

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