We have all felt the chill of winter over the past few weeks increasing the need for heating in our homes.
This greater reliance on fire and heating to keep warm over winter comes with the responsibility to prevent, prepare and protect our homes and loved ones against the outbreak of fire. House fires are responsible for approximately 50 deaths per year in Australia, according to Macquarie University’s Bushfire and National Hazards Cooperative Research Centre.
Forbes Firefighter Matt Teale presented a fire safety and awareness program to members of Forbes CWA Evening Branch recently. “Everyone needs to be making sure they are fire aware and protect homes and loved ones by being prepared,” said Matt.
His presentation included fire safety inside and outside the home, evacuation plans, human behaviour in an emergency, operation of fire extinguishers, fire blankets and smoke alarms, the dangers of fat fires in the home and more.
Matt demonstrated how to use a fire blanket, and the most effective way to use a dry powder extinguisher by remembering the acronym PASS: Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep to put out a fire. “It is important to not only have these but also to know how to use them properly,” he said.
Matt emphasised the importance of having a fire plan. “It’s not just in bushfire prone areas that fire plans help save lives. Make sure you know how to get out of the home, where the fire assembly point is for the family to meet, what possessions you want to take, and who is in the house.
“Fire and Rescue can provide free safety visits by contacting Forbes Fire Station or go to https://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/visits/
By Sue Cunningham