Fire season may not be months aware and taking precautions against blazes might not be at the forefront of people's minds, but Central West firefighters are warning people of the dangers fire can pose in winter.
Rural Fire Service Canobolas Zone operations manager Brett Bowden said volunteers were responding to "two or three" preventable incidents across the region a day, while their counterparts in town are facing two or three a day.
Mr Bowden there are six main ways people can ensure they are staying safe.
Ensure smoke alarms are working
The best way to stay safe is to make sure you're being alerted if a fire occurs, and the best way to do that is with fire alarms. Alarms need to be replaced every 10 years, and batteries in alarms need to be changed every year.
Everyone in the house also needs to know how to escape in case of an emergency, with the priority escaping blazes.
"When you hear the alarm going off, make sure you get out first and then figure out what's happening," Mr Bowden said.
"In town firefighters can be five minutes away, while in regional areas it can be 15 minutes or more."
Be careful while cooking
The most dangerous place inside the house for fires is the kitchen, with plenty of hot surfaces and electrical appliances, but firefighters say if you're making sure you're watching what's happening, you'll be going a long way to being safe.
"It can be hard, especially if you have kids or if the phone rings or another distraction happens but you need to make sure you're keeping an eye on things at all times," Mr Bowden said.
Watch your heaters and electrical appliances
We all know the dangers of electric blankets, and that you should roll them and not fold them to decrease the pressure on the edges, but Mr Bowden said people need to ensure the electrical sockets also need to be looked after.
"If you've got any doubts or it's more than five years old, get it checked," he said.
Equally, electric and gas space heaters can also start fires when they're too close to walls, furniture or clothes, and Mr Bowden warned people to be cautious of those.
However, he said firefighters had also seen people using barbecues or patio heaters inside to warm houses, and said while also being a fire risk, carbon monoxide presented another potentially lethal side-effect to "unconventional" heating arrangements.
Check your lint trays and chimneys
Lint trays in dryers are the number one cause of fires in the home, and Mr Bowden said people needed to be checking them before every use to avoid lint catching fire.
Mr Bowden said regular cleaning of chimneys - normally done in summer - was also important, with charcoal and carbon buildup in chimney and stoves a fire hazard which could potentially escape into the roof cavity, something he described as "not ideal".
"It can be very, very hard to extinguish once it gets into the roof and could cause significant damage or destruction of the structure," he said.
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