10 July 2018
Victoria’s residential fire safety campaign is in full swing, with a focus on reducing the risk of fires around the home and raising awareness of working smoke alarms.
Traditionally winter is the busiest time of the year for house fires. We spend more time inside keeping warm by the wood fire, drying clothes by the heater, turning on electric blankets or cooking up a hot winter meal. As a result, we need to be aware of the risk of house fires.
There have been a number of house fires already this winter, with CFA and MFB focussed on community safety, providing information designed to reduce the risk of fires around the home and increasing smoke alarm awareness.
Last winter, there were around 15 per cent more preventable house fires across the state compared to other seasons during the year, with the fire agencies attending 890 preventable house fires.
Unattended cooking remains the single largest cause of fire in the home throughout the year.
Fixed and portable heaters and central heating caused 96 fires in 2017 while there was 121 chimney fires and 29 fires related to wood-fuelled heating.
Keeping a safe distance between drying clothes over a heater is important, as well as cleaning lint filters in clothes dryers, turning off electrical appliances that are not being used, ensuring regular servicing of electric and gas heaters, and taking care when cooking.
Fire agencies are also encouraging Victorians to replace their old smoke alarms with new units. Using photo electric smoke alarms with a 10-year lithium battery means batteries do not need to be replaced annually.
Residents are 57 per cent more likely to experience property loss and damage without a working smoke alarm.
In the event of a fire a correctly-installed smoke alarm can detect smoke the quickest, allowing you to have time to evacuate your home safety.
For more information about home fire safety visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au/homefire