9 May 2024

Beware lithium battery risks: Fire and Rescue to offer safety advice at open day

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 Fire and Rescue NSW.

Head to your local Fire and Rescue station with your family to learn about fire safety. Photo: Fire and Rescue NSW.

Riverina residents are being encouraged to head to their local fire station for its upcoming annual open day.

Fire and Rescue NSW’s (FRNSW) annual open day is on Saturday 11 May when many fire stations across NSW will be open from 10 am to 2 pm with a range of free activities, including firefighting demonstrations, station tours and safety presentations.

FRNSW urges community members to be fire safe to help protect themselves and their loved ones.

During the open day, families can see the fire trucks and firefighting and rescue equipment up close and chat with firefighters about the simple steps they can take to stay safe.

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FRNSW Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell said the open day was an opportunity for firefighters to educate the community about the importance of having working smoke alarms, especially in the lead-up to winter.

Residents are advised to replace smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old.

“Open day is an exciting day for the community and also for our firefighters, who love to welcome visitors to the fire stations. It’s a great chance to get a look behind the scenes and gain an understanding of the variety of work that firefighters do,” Commissioner Fewtrell said.

“Importantly, it is also a chance to talk about how to keep our community safe from fires. Each year, around 20 people die in NSW from fires that could have been prevented, while hundreds more suffer life-changing health consequences.

“Each death and injury is tragic for families, friends and the wider community.”

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People are encouraged to prepare their homes early for winter. During the cooler months, the number of home fires increases by 10 per cent, with more fires starting in bedrooms and loungerooms due to heaters and electric blankets.

Commissioner Fewtrell said firefighters would also provide advice on lithium-ion batteries at the open day.

“Lithium-ion batteries can be found in many portable electronic devices such as mobile phones, e-bikes and e-scooters and although these devices make our lives easier, they have the potential to put us at risk,” Commissioner Fewtrell said.

“Lithium-ion batteries are the fastest-growing fire risk in NSW, so it is important for people to understand how to charge devices safely and what to do if they catch fire.”

Meet the team at the open day and learn how to be fire safe and protect yourself and your family. For more information visit FRNSW Open Day. A full list of all fire stations that will be open will be available closer to the event.

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