More people will be using wood fires, heaters and electric blankets and need to be aware of the potential fire hazards.
CFA State Duty Officer, Gary Weir, said as temperatures drop, the potential for a fire in the home increases by up to 20 per cent.
“And sadly, most of these incidents could actually be avoided,” he said.
“It is so important for every Victorian to take action to prevent fires starting in their home, and to know what to do if a fire does start.”
Mr Weir said this included making sure heaters had been properly checked and maintained.
“All heating appliances must be installed by a qualified tradesperson and correctly maintained in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations,” he said.
“It is also extremely important to take care with open fires; always place a screen in front of them, extinguish fires before going to bed or going out and keep at least one metre clear space around them.”
MFB Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer Frank Stockton said it’s not difficult to minimise the risk.
He said ensuring your home has a working smoke alarm, keeping clothing at least a metre away from heaters, and cleaning the lint filter on your clothes dryer after each load greatly reduced the risks of fire.
“Another danger area is the kitchen – of the 1042 residential fires in Victoria last winter, 37 per cent started in the kitchen,” he said.
“Never leave your cooking unattended and keep electrical appliances in good working order.
“The most important message this winter is to take action – it’s easy.”
Tips for being fire safe in your home this winter:
Complete a simple fire safety check list at www.homefiresafety.com.au
- Plan and practise your fire escape plan with your family
- If a fire starts, get out and stay out. Call 000
- Talk with your friends and family about what to do in an emergency
- Check your electric blanket, heater and other electric appliances for broken or worn wiring
- Don’t overload your power boards
- Don’t deadlock yourself in your home
- Make sure your smoke alarm is working
- Dry your clothes at least a metre away from heaters
- Use fire screens on open fires
- Put fires out and turn off heaters before going to bed
- Clean the lint filter on your clothes dryer after each load
- Let your clothes dryer complete its cool down cycle before stopping
- Never leave candles unattended
*CFA AND MFB MEDIA RELEASE*