NSW Fire and Rescue expect to undertake 1000 home fire safety visits in Singleton

Singleton brigade member Mitch Tull, Commissioner Paul Baxter and Mayor Sue Moore.
Singleton brigade member Mitch Tull, Commissioner Paul Baxter and Mayor Sue Moore.

Singleton was chosen by Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) to announce its Safety Visits program with the aim of improving fire safety in 1,000 higher risk homes in the local area and 60,000 homes across NSW.

The local community knows firsthand the tragic results from a house fire following the death of three young children last month when their home was engulfed by fire in the early hours of June 26.

On that morning 11-year-old Blake Atkins and his five-year-old twin sisters Matylda and Scarlett died. Brave neighbours pulled their mother 31-year-old Kara Atkins and her eight-year-old daughter Bayley through a window as the fire took hold saving their lives.

Local brigade, Singleton 444, member Mitch Tull, who attended the Britliffe Close fire where the children died spoke at the launch of the program, saying it was important to prevent another similar tragedy happening in the community.

"If we can prevent one fire thanks to the safety visits then the program will be a success," he said.

FRNSW Commissioner, Paul Baxter said the fire prevention and education program will see firefighters visit homes to deliver critical fire safety advice and install working smoke alarms where they're needed most.

"Winter is the worst time of year for home fires, with more fires occurring in bedrooms and loungerooms due to heaters, electric blankets and other electrical devices. Our firefighters have already responded to more than 450 residential fires this winter, including a number of deadly fires, and we don't want these numbers to continue climbing," said Commissioner Baxter.

"The Safety Visits program draws on historical data about where fires occur and the reasons why, so we can target areas with an increased fire risk across NSW and help prevent fires from occurring."

FRNSW firefighters hope to visit approximately 1000 homes in Singleton to ensure there is at least one working smoke alarm in every home and provide advice to residents on how to reduce the risks of fire.

"Like the whole community, our firefighters were deeply affected by last month's tragic house fire in Singleton. We want to show our support for these local firefighters and help them prevent similar tragedies in the future," said Commissioner Baxter.

"Fire in a home today moves very fast - so you need a plan to get out quickly and call triple zero."

Singleton brigade captain Bruce Ambrose, Mayor Sue Moore, Commissioner Paul Baxter and Singleton brigade member Mitch Tull.

Singleton brigade captain Bruce Ambrose, Mayor Sue Moore, Commissioner Paul Baxter and Singleton brigade member Mitch Tull.

Some other simple steps the community can take to prevent a fire at home this winter include:

Never leave cooking unattended and always Keep Looking When Cooking.

Keep everything - furnishing, curtains, clothing - one metre away from the heater.

Do not overload power boards with these extra winter appliances - such as heaters, electric blankets and dryers.

Ensure flues and chimneys are regularly cleaned.

Turn off electric blankets at night.

Do not use outdoor heating and cooking equipment inside the home.

For more information about the Safety Visits program visit www.fire.nsw.gov.au or contact your local FRNSW station.

Members of Singleton's 444 Fire and Rescue on hand for the launch of the home visit fire safety program.

Members of Singleton's 444 Fire and Rescue on hand for the launch of the home visit fire safety program.