Winter has arrived and with it, an increased risk of house fire.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have issued a warning and reminder to residents to re-check their heating devices and keep flammable items well clear of fires and/or electric heaters.
QFES Manager Community Safety Operations Gavin Holden said between 1 June 2017 and 31 August 2017, firefighters in the Northern Queensland region attended almost one house fire every three days.
- Check appliances (like electric blankets and heaters) for fraying or exposed cords or rust, or overheating.
- Make sure flammable items are kept away from heaters and fireplaces
- Turn off battery chargers when not in use
- Install photoelectric smoke alarms and regularly check that they are working.
- Check your insurance cover is paid and sums insured are accurate.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services department said the key triggers for house fires in winter were heaters, electric blankets and fireplaces and flues.
Common causes of fire include frayed cords or exposed wires on electrical appliances, clothing and other items being left on or too close to heaters, embers rolling or sitting from fireplaces, flues becoming blocked and causing heat to build up, and battery chargers overheating.
“It’s understandable that residents are looking for ways to stay warm during the cooler months, but it’s imperative it’s done safely,” Mr Holden said.
“There are a lot of simple steps residents can take to limit the chance of a house fire, including turning off electrical appliances when they’re not in use.”
QFES also recommends thinking about fire preparation including:
- In a fire, get out immediately. You only have a few minutes before the fire and smoke becomes life threatening.
- Prepare and draw your escape plan. Have two ways out of every room and pick a meeting place outside of the home.
- Turn out the lights and practise your escape plan.
QFES also warned that outdoor heating equipment is designed specifically for use outside, in open, aired spaces and should never be brought inside to warm your home.
To get a home and contents insurance quote or to review your cover, call Piranha Insurance 4927 8400