Fire safety: Keep looking when cooking

HOUSEHOLDERS are being urged to 'keep looking when cooking' after it was revealed almost 50 per cent of house fires start in the kitchen, Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott said. 

Mr Elliott has joined Fire & Rescue NSW Acting Deputy Commissioner Mark Brown, NSW Rural Fire Service Assistant Commissioner Jason Heffernan and FRNSW's Principal Partner GIO, to launch the annual Winter Fire Safety campaign.

Mr Elliot said firefighters respond to about 1,230 house fires between June and September each year - an average of 102 a week.

Almost half of those start in the kitchen, he said.

"It can take just three minutes for a kitchen fire to take hold but only seconds to prevent one," Mr Elliott said.

Deputy Commissioner Brown said nine people have died in house fires in NSW since January this year and urged householders remain vigilant.

"People need to be attentive in the kitchen and throughout their home this winter," he said.

Assistant Commissioner Heffernan said even small fires can have a devastating emotional, financial and physical impact.

To reduce the risk of a home fire during winter, keep looking when cooking, ensure items  are kept at least one metre from heaters, do not overload power points, and don't leave open flame materials, such as cigarettes and candles, unattended.

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