Member for Kiama Gareth Ward is reminding local residents and community groups to stay vigilant and remain fire safe this summer.

Mr Ward said that there are a number of ways residents can help by safeguarding their homes and properties.

“It is an exciting time with families putting up their Christmas trees and decorative lights, firing up barbecues and planning summer holidays, however there are some important home safety tips to remember these summer holidays,” Mr Ward said.

Fire Rescue NSW recommends the following:


  • When setting up decorative lights and other electrical displays, use only one item per power socket and don't overload power boards or piggyback double adaptors.
  • For maximum safety if you use a power board, ensure it has both overload protection and earth leakage protection devices incorporated.
  • Only use decorative lights that have an Australian Standards label and follow manufacturer's instructions on setting up and operating.
  • Check lights and electronic decorations for faults, worn plugs and frayed cords.
  • Inspect the plugs and leads of used decorative lights to ensure they are in good working order. If in doubt, replace the lights.
  • Decorative lights may become very hot so keep away from children and flammable materials such as wrapping paper, decorations or curtains and don’t leave burning candles unattended.
  • Candles should be used in a safe position away from Christmas Trees or other flammable material and out of reach of children. Extinguish them if you leave the room and always before going to bed.
  • Switch off all electrical displays and decorative lights before going to bed.
  • Make sure you have a sufficient number of working smoke alarms throughout your home that are tested regularly and are supported by a written home escape plan in case of fire.


  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working properly.
  • Clear any clutter, weeds and debris from outside your home.
  • Check electrical equipment and fittings, especially fans and other equipment.
  • Ensure exits and escape points around your home are clear.
  • Conduct drills to familiarise your home fire escape plan.
  • Lock pool chemicals, pesticides and fertilisers in a cool dry place.


  • Check the ‘use by’ date on your gas bottles.
  • Check connections on the hose are tight and not leaking.
  • Check hoses are not damaged or perished.


  • Check that all smoke alarms in your home and your caravan are in working order.
  • Electrical appliances are turned off and unplugged.
  • Gutters are clear of leaves and debris. All combustible materials such as leaves, grass, timber and paper have been removed from around your home.
  • Ensure any Lithium-Ion battery-powered devices are not left on charge when you are not home.

Additional advice on the FRNSW website at: