New NRMA Insurance Research Shows Relaxed Attitudes to Fire Safety

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NSW households could be too relaxed when it comes to home fire safety with almost 65 per cent stepping away from a hot stove to watch TV and around half surfing the net, doing housework or helping kids with homework, according to new research by NRMA.

NRMA Insurance

Kitchen fires have the potential to spread quickly, often jumping to curtains or cupboards in a matter of seconds

NSW households could be too relaxed when it comes to home fire safety with almost 65 per cent stepping away from a hot stove to watch TV and around half surfing the net, doing housework or helping kids with homework, according to new research by NRMA Home Insurance *.

With house fires peaking in winter, NRMA Insurance is reminding NSW households where blazes commonly start and how easily they can spread.

NRMA Insurance spokesperson Emily Gatt said claims data showed one in three NSW house fires started in the kitchen, most as a result of cooking left unattended**.

‘Kitchen fires have the potential to spread quickly, often jumping to curtains or cupboards in a matter of seconds.

‘Year on year we find people are still leaving cooking unattended. This year we looked closer at what distracts us from the stove and found we’re either getting caught up in other things because we’re busy or simply being too relaxed,’ Ms Gatt said.

An NRMA Home Insurance survey of more than 500 NSW residents found that in addition to cooking dinner on the stove:

  • almost 65 per cent step away to watch TV;
  • about 50 per cent squeeze in some housework;
  • more than 45 per cent surf the Internet; and
  • nearly 50 per cent help their kids with homework.

To help prevent and be ready for a home fire, NRMA Insurance recommends households:

  • stay in the kitchen while cooking is on the stove;
  • install a smoke alarm(s) and test monthly. If you have battery-operated alarms, change the batteries at least once a year;
  • have an evacuation plan and make sure everyone in the house knows and practices it;
  • keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket at hand near the kitchen;
  • never use water to put out a cooking oil fire – water will only ignite the oil:
  • don’t key-lock deadlocks on doors when at home in case you need to leave in a hurry;
  • call 000 immediately if a fire does break out that cannot be safely and quickly controlled.

For more information on how to make your home safer visit http://www.nrma.com.au/homesafety
*Survey of more than 2500 Australian households by Pure Profile Research for NRMA Insurance in February 2010.
**NRMA Insurance home claims data 2005-09.

NRMA Insurance is a leading insurance provider, offering Home Insurance, Car Insurance, Motorcycle Insurance, Travel Insurance, Business Insurance, Boat Insurance, Health Insurance and Caravan Insurance in NSW.

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Tracy Woodley
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