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Fiji Time: 7:04 PM on Monday 21 April

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Fire safety at home

Dawn Gibson
Monday, December 16, 2013

THE idea of creating a preventative environment which minimises risks cannot be stressed enough.

And the National Fire Authority continues to make it its business to educate the public as much as possible about the risks involved in not taking these extra steps before a disaster happens.

With the current number of structural fires for the end of November sitting at 109, compared to 95 at the end of December last year, NFA CEO John O'Connor is hoping this Christmas season will not be one rife with festival fires.

"Members of the community must ensure that they take extra care at home, especially with regards to fire ignition sources," he said.

"Fire ignition sources like candles, prayer diya, matches and mosquito coils should be placed in a safe position away from flammable materials and out of reach of children. Extinguish them before leaving the home or going to bed."

Mr O'Connor also suggests constant supervision by parents over their children, particularly if they are young.

"If they are going out to work or other engagements, they must leave their children with a responsible adult to look after the children.

"There are usually a lot of activities taking place at homes during the festive celebration and such times a fire could easily start."

He said having a home escape route was one of the best preventative measures a family could take "and this plan should be practised regularly".

"Also have lots of large, deep ashtrays at home so cigarettes cannot fall out.

"Keep fire hazards out of children's reach. Store matches and flammable materials on high shelves or keep them in a locked cabinet.

"Create a fire safety plan. Teach each member of the family what to do in case of a fire," said Mr O'Connor.