TWO minutes is all it can take for a fire to take hold and destroy a home.
In a dramatic demonstration filmed by Fire & Rescue NSW, the video shows an electrical fire that sparked in a mock living room near the Christmas tree. Within a minute and a half, the living space was completely engulfed by flames and billowing with black smoke.
As Christmas trees start to go up and North Coast residents illuminate their houses with festive lighting, Lismore Fire & Rescue have urged the community to safeguard their homes from fire.
Fireys implore residents to avoid the use of Christmas lighting if the cords or plugs appear damaged and avoid overloading power boards or piggy back double adaptors by using only one item per power socket.
But its the kitchen where fireys are urging residents to be the most vigilant this festive season with nearly half of all house fires starting in that area of the home.
Lismore's station commander Darren West cautioned to not be complacent when it comes to cooking this Christmas.
"It is really important to keep looking at your cooking and never leave cooking unattended - even for a moment," he said.
"From all of us at Lismore Fire Station, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season."
Here are a few simple tips to follow to avoid a fire in your home:
- Keep looking when cooking - never leave it unattended
- Ensure that cooking appliances are turned off after use
- Tea towels, oven mitts and other flammable items should be kept well away from stoves and cook tops
- Turn your pot and pan handles inward (away from children's reach)
- Install a fire extinguisher and fire blanket in the kitchen and familiarise yourself with how to use them
- ReAlarm your home with a 10-year lithium battery-powered photoelectric smoke alarm
- Service, clean and maintain your barbecue correctly
- Check your fairy lights before use and if wiring, cords or plugs appear damaged, don't use
- Only use decorative lights that have an Australian Standards label and follow manufacturer's instructions on setting up and operating
- When setting up fairy lights and other electrical displays, use only one item per power socket and don't overload power boards or piggy back double adaptors
- Never put flammable liquid or accelerants on to a barbecue
- Don't cook under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- If a fire does occur, get out, stay out and call Triple Zero (000).
If you need advice or any further information, contact your nearest FRNSW station or visit www.fire.nsw.gov.au.