A spike in house fires this winter has sparked calls for NSW residents to check their smoke alarms.
There were 1063 fires at NSW homes this winter, an increase of 12 per cent on the year before, according to Fire and Rescue NSW data.
“It’s the largest number of winter residential fires in NSW since 2019 when 1092 such blazes were recorded,” a statement from FRNSW released on Friday said.
When firefighters attended, they found that almost half of the homes were without a working fire alarm.
“When was the last time you checked your home’s smoke alarm was working?” FRNSW Acting Assistant Commissioner David Felton said.
“In almost half the fires we go to each winter, there’s no working smoke alarm present.”
There were 115 people injured in house fires this winter.
However, the number of people killed in preventable winter house fires was halved compared to last year, with eight deaths reported in 2023.
The majority of winter house fires were caused by human activity, with arson, electrical faults and overheating among the other causes.
At least 10 per cent of them remain a mystery as to how they started.
Firefighters are urging households to create a home evacuation plan to prepare for the chance of a fire in their home.
This includes identifying practical escape routes to take should a fire break out in different parts of the home.
A free home safety visit can be booked by visiting https://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/visits
Firefighters will inspect your home, provide safety advice and can even fit a 10-year smoke alarm, free of charge, if necessary.