Authorities are urging people to take caution and remain safe around fire in the home as Wagga heads into winter.
NSW Fire and Rescue duty commander Daryl Manson has some advice for residents ahead of an imminent cold snap.
Duty commander Manson said the cooler months saw a 10 per cent increase in the number of home fires, with many started in bedrooms and living rooms by heaters and electric blankets.
"Don't put yourself or your family at risk. We want to remind people to be careful when using heaters and to keep everything in the house 'a metre from the heater'," he said.
Wagga's Turvey Park fire station, he said, was in the top 10 for fires in the state.
"We do find when the weather turns cool, and with the COVID-19 restrictions there are a lot more people at home. We have seen a lot more incidences of fires in residential houses," he said.
"The biggest thing we can emphasise is please, please make sure you have a working smoke alarm."
Duty Commander Manson said a house fire could "take hold in an instant".
"Most people look at situations where there's been the loss of a house or loss of life and think, 'How tragic that is, but it hasn't happened to me'," he said.
"But they're just normal people like you or me. And things happen."
FRNSW is encouraging people to 'keep looking when cooking', to avoid kitchen fire catastrophes.
Kitchen fires account for 45 per cent of all residential fires and 34 per cent of injuries in NSW, which are most often caused by stoves left unattended.
"It can take just three minutes for a fire to take hold, but only seconds to prevent one," Duty Commander Manson said.
He urged people to call triple-o in an emergency, or to contact their local station for general fire safety questions and concerns.
"Once COVID-19 social distancing provisions are relaxed both Wagga and Turvey Park Fire Stations will be heading out into the community looking to conduct safety visits into as many homes as possible," he said.
Crews can provide feedback and guidance on kitchen fire safety, working smoke alarms, and evacuation and emergency exit routes.
This year's fire station open day has been cancelled because of COVID-19, but many are providing virtual tours and other online information as a substitute.
Duty Commander Manson said people could find more information on the Turvey Park Facebook page or by contacting the station on 09 6921 3022.
FRNSW has provided the following tips for fire safety in the home:
- Only working smoke alarms double the chance of survival - regularly check your alarm is working.
- Keep looking when cooking - do not leave cooking unattended at any time.
- Know and practice your fire escape plan
- Don't overload power points and power boards.
- Always keep a meter from the heater
- Turn off heaters and electric blankets before leaving home or getting into bed
- Keep candles away from curtains and put them out before leaving the room
- Clean lint filters in the clothes dryer before or after each use
- Don't use LPG cylinders for cooking or heating indoors as they can leak and the gas is both toxic and highly explosive.
- If there is a fire get out, stay out and call Triple Zero (000)