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Remember fire safety when saving power

The Fire Service is reminding people to practise fire safety when they save power this winter.

“Already a candle has been involved in a bad house fire this week as people try to save power,” said Cliff Mears, Fire Safety Assistant Commander.

“There may be blackouts, which means people may use candles as an alternative light source. Wood fires and log burners may also be used as an alternative to electric heaters. People may also try to dry clothes near heaters or fireplaces to conserve energy,” said Cliff Mears.

“We must all do our bit to save power this winter but by using other heating and lighting sources people need to remember to use candles and wood fires wisely.

“The colder months are an extremely dangerous time for fires in the home but the power crisis has increase the risk of a fire occurring. “Each winter about 450 homes are damaged by fire and about 400 chimney fires are caused because chimneys are not swept.

These fire safety tips are important for everyone to remember and follow:

Candles * Use candles in a secure candle holder with a wide base * Keep candles away from paper, curtains, bedclothes and anything that will burn easily * Put out candles before you go to sleep or leave a room * Don’t allow children to play with candles or unsupervised in a room with a lit candle

Heaters and fireplaces * Remember the Heater Metre Rule; keep all clothing, objects, curtains, furnishings and furniture at least one metre away from heaters and fireplaces * Do not dry or store objects on top of your heating appliance * Always use a fireguard or a spark-guard with open fires * Sweep chimneys and flues at least once a year * Empty fireplace ashes and ashtrays into a metal bin to get cold before throwing away * Do a night fire check for anything that may pose a fire risk to your family before you turn out the lights.

“We want to help people get through the winter and the power crisis safely,” said Cliff Mears.

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