WITH winter well and truly settling in, it's the time of year to remind everyone to do their bit to stay safe.
Each year, Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) attends approximately 4500 residential fires in NSW - about 30 per cent of them in winter months.
I'm calling on our communities to look for simple ways to stay safe in their homes during the cooler months, in particular where heating and cooking are concerned.
On average, 21 people die from house fires each year in NSW and many of these circumstances are preventable.
This year to date there have been approximately 1400 house fires and five fatalities. That's five too many.
Approximately 45 per cent of all home fires start in the kitchen and eight per cent in the sleeping area. It can take as little as three minutes for a fire to take hold.
While emergency services stand ready to help out, personnel and volunteers need the community to be prepared.
Here are some of NSW Fire and Rescue's top tips for staying safe:
Don't overload power points and powerboards; regularly check electrical leads for damage and faults; never use faulty electrical leads or appliances; store your electric blanket safely - roll, don't fold; before going to bed, turn off all electrical appliances at the power point.
For more tips, visit www.fire.nsw.gov.au
PEOPLE selling or giving away cats or dogs now need to include an identification number in all advertisements.
The identification number can be either a microchip number, a breeder identification number or a rehoming organisation number.
These changes will give potential pet owners more information about the dogs or cats they are buying.
Potential pet owners can visit the NSW Pet Registry to find out information about an advertised animal, including its breed, age, gender and whether it is de-sexed.
They will be able to look up information about the animal's history, the breeder and seller.
THE annual seniors' festival was designed to help our elders remain active, healthy and engaged in their communities, which is why the NSW Government has announced a grant program to help local organisations host events that will encourage seniors to get out and about.
The grants will provide $200,000 to organisations and councils to host local festival events and activities.
The NSW Seniors' Festival will be held across NSW from February 12 to 23, 2020.