Seniors' winter fire safety call

QUEENSLAND Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) is calling for Gympie's senior citizens to review fire safety in their homes in the lead up to winter.

North Coast Region Assistant Commissioner Ray Eustace said seniors were a group particularly vulnerable to fire risks.

“Sadly, there have been a number of fire deaths in the past where elderly people have been trapped inside their homes during a fire due to heavy home security and no pre-planned means of escape,” he said.

“One way seniors can learn to be more conscious of their safety is to reduce fire hazards and prepare and practice evacuation plans.

“With an increasing number of homes protected by dead locks and other security measures, it is important for people to keep keys in an easily accessible place, close to doors and windows, so in the event of a fire they can quickly find them and get out.

“Alternately, install deadlocks that can be opened from the inside without keys, and window grill bars and screens that open outwards from the inside.

“We understand that security is a necessary part of life but it can hinder your escape in an emergency, unless you've got a plan for getting out.”

“One way seniors can learn to be more conscious of their safety is through the Seniors' Fire Ed Program, which is delivered by volunteers from the Retired Firefighters' Association of Queensland, with the support of QFRS.

“This program allows retired firefighters to share valued knowledge and skills with people of their own age group in an informal and interactive setting.

Organisations such as National Seniors Australia and 60s & Better have taken part in this program,” Assistant Commissioner Eustace said.

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