With winter well and truly settling in, it's also the time of year to remind everyone to do their bit to stay safe. Each year Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) attends approximately 4,500 residential fires in NSW with approximately 30 per cent occurring in winter months.
I'm calling on our communities to look for simple ways to stay safe in their homes during the cooler months, in particular where heating and cooking are concerned. On average 21 people die from house fires each year in NSW, with many of these circumstances preventable.
This year to date there has been approximately 1,400 house fires and five fatalities. Approximately 45 per cent of all home fires start in the kitchen and a further eight per cent in the sleeping area.
It can take as little as three minutes for a fire to take hold. While emergency services stand ready to help out, personnel and volunteers need the community to be prepared for weather events and accidents that can end in tragedy.
Here are some of NSW Fire and Rescue's top tips for staying safe:
- Don't overload power points and power boards.
- Regularly check electrical leads for damage and faults.
- Never use faulty electrical leads or appliances.
- Store your electric blanket safely - roll don't fold.
- Before going to bed, turn off all electrical appliances at the powerpoint.
- Turn off electric blankets and heaters when you're not at home and before getting into bed.
From July 1, 2019, people selling or giving away cats or dogs will need to include an identification number in all advertisements. The identification number can be either a microchip number, a breeder identification number or a rehoming organisation number.
These changes will provide potential pet owners with more information to make informed choices about the dogs or cats they are buying.
Potential pet owners can visit the NSW Pet Registry to find out information about an advertised animal including its breed, age, gender and whether it is de-sexed.
They will be able to look up information about the animal's history, the breeder and seller. These new requirements will promote responsible cat and dog breeding and selling by allowing relevant agencies to identify and deal with problem breeders.
The annual seniors festival was designed to help our elders remain active, healthy and engaged in their local communities; which is why the NSW Government has announced a grant program to help assist local organisations in hosting events that will encourage seniors to get out and about.
The grants will provide $200,000 to organisations and councils to host local festival events and activities. Three funding categories are available:
- Category 1: Up to $1000 for small-scale local community events and activities.
- Category 2: $1001 - $5000 for larger local community events and activities.
- Category 3: $5001 - $10,000 for large scale community and regional events and activities.
The NSW Seniors Festival will be held across NSW from 12-23 February 2020.
For more information on the grants, visit: www.seniorsfestival.nsw.gov.au/events/nsw-seniors-festival-grants.