Tuesday, 30 July 2013


by Deanne Burrell


Now that winter is here it is time to get your winter coat, electric blanket and heater out of the cupboard. Here are a few safety tips to take into consideration this winter:

·       Look after kitchen fires; fires involving heating and drying are one of the most common reasons the Fire Service is called out.

·       Always keep furniture, curtains, clothes and children at least one metre away from heaters and fireplaces.

·       Don't store objects on top of your heater.

·       Never cover heaters.

·       Don't overload clothes dryers, and clean the lint filter after each load.

Fireplaces and Chimneys

There's nothing like sitting in front of the fireplace on a cold winter's night. But here's a list of things to be mindful of:

·       Clean chimneys and flues before your first fire of the season.

·       Always use a fireguard or spark-guard with open fires.

·       Ashes can take up to five days to cool; always empty fireplace or wood burner ashes and ashtrays into a metal bin with a lid. Water can be poured over them before disposal.

Electric blankets

Climbing into bed on a cold night is much easier if you've had an electric blanket on but there are things you should do to keep fire safe:

·       If your electric blanket or cord is showing any signs of wear, have it checked by a competent service person or have it replaced.  Don't take the risk.

·       Always make sure that your electric blanket is switched off before getting into bed.

·       Never use pins or sharp objects to secure the electric blanket to the bed and never tuck it in under the bed.

·       If the blanket becomes soiled, sponge it lightly and allow to dry naturally on a flat surface.

Portable LPG Gas Heaters

When using gas heaters take a few moments to consider the following safety precautions – they may save a life:

·       Make sure the ceramic heater element is not broken or chipped and that the element guard is in place.

·       Check to see that the hose is in good condition and doesn't show any signs of damage or wear.

·       If the heater does not light straight away, turn it off and then try again. Don't let the gas build up before trying to relight it.

·       Always have fresh air coming into the room where a gas heater is in use.


Our members are continually refreshing their skills and also participating in practical training courses to further their knowledge.  We would like to congratulate the following members who have recently been awarded certificates for completing the next stage of their training programmes:

·       Sharon Brogan - Senior Fire Fighter and Driving Course.

·       Charles Abraham – Officers' Course.

·       Congratulations also to Charles Abraham who has been promoted from Senior Fire Fighter to Station Officer. 

We have also recently welcomed to our brigade four new members:

·       Chris Freear and Craig Meade who are joining us as new recruits; and

·       Chris and Valerie Hughes who have transferred from the Brunner Volunteer Fire Brigade in Dobson.

Thank you for volunteering to help your community. 

It was with regret that we farewelled one of our Qualified Fire Fighters, Bill Berends.  Due to a change in employment Bill has transferred to the Duntroon Brigade.  We wish Bill all the best in his new job and at his new station.


We would like to remind the community that we are still running our Smoke Alarm Promotion.  We are offering our expertise to all households in the Blueskin Bay area to make sure every house has working smoke alarms.  We will fit new alarms, replace batteries and advise on positioning and type of alarm for your family.  The service is free; all you have to pay for is the materials, smoke alarms and batteries.  We have a supply of suitable alarms should they be needed.  Please phone 482 2640 and leave a message and contact number.


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