MFB Acting Chief Fire Officer Rob Taylor said
“Many people will be turning on heaters for the first time in six months and it’s important they take a few simple safety precautions,” he said.
MFB and CFA are advising people to:
- Ensure all heaters are properly maintained
- Make sure smoke alarm batteries have been changed and the alarms tested – only a working smoke alarm saves lives
- Don’t piggy back electrical appliances off power boards. It can cause an overload leading to an electrical fire
- Keep drying clothes at least a metre from heaters, especially electric bar heaters (See Link)
- Take care with candles and don't leave them unattended
- Keep matches and lighters well out of reach of children
- Ensure fireguards are used around wood heaters
- Keep any flammable materials and accelerants away from homes
- Don’t deadlock yourself in you home; if there is a fire escaping is made more difficult
CFA State Duty Officer Gavin Thompson said most home fires are preventable with a bit of forethought and planning.
"Just a few simple steps will reduce your risk of becoming a fire victim and, as the weather turns colder, we can all do something to protect ourselves,” he said.