‘Be Safe, Not Sorry’ This Winter


The mother of a Sydney boy, who was badly burnt as a toddler, has joined Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) to warn others about fire danger this winter.

Cayden Blake was 12 months old in June 2019 when he walked into an open fireplace, captivated by the flames. The youngster suffered serious burns to his hands, arms, and face.

“Cayden, as a toddler, was curious about the “pretty” flames and it only took a second for him to walk into the fireplace,” said Tiffany Rapley-Adams, Cayden’s mother.

“Please child-proof your fireplaces and if you haven’t already done so, educate your kids about the dangers of fire.”

The theme for this year’s Winter Fire Safety campaign is “Be safe, not sorry.”

“Please ensure you have a home fire escape plan, so your children know what to do if a fire breaks out,” said FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter.

“It’s also important to fireproof your home as much as possible by having working smoke alarms.”

NSW Rural Fire Service Assistant Commissioner Ben Millington said there are steps residents can take to prevent a fire from breaking out in their home.

“It can be as simple as keeping flammable objects a ‘metre from the heater,’ not leaving cooking unattended and not using outdoor heating or cooking equipment inside,” Assistant Commissioner Millington said.

FRNSW advises the public to:

• Check and maintain smoke alarms;
• Keep any drying clothes or anything flammable at least a metre from the heater;
• Clean and maintain any fireplaces;
• Do not use outdoor heating or cooking equipment inside your home;
• Check electric blankets are safe for use and never go to bed or leave home with your electric blanket on;
• Do not overheat wheat bags in the microwave;
• Do not overload power boards;
• Clean the lint filter from your clothes dryer after each use;
• Never leave cooking unattended;
• Always use candles under adult supervision and do not leave them unattended;
• Ensure you have a ‘home fire escape plan” and practice it regularly with your family; and
• If a fire does occur, get out, stay out and call Triple Zero (000).

This winter, keep you and your loved ones safe by using the Get Ready for Winter checklist. FRNSW has attended 1,226 home fires since the beginning of 2022.There were 3,502 home fires in 2021.Last winter, there were 953 residential fires, including:

• 359 kitchen fires (accounting for 38% of winter fires)
• 98 bedroom fires (accounting for 10% of all winter fires)
• 81 chimney/fireplace emergencies (accounting for 8% of all winter fires); and
• 69 loungeroom fires (accounting for 7% of all winter fires)

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