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Media Release

Cold snap sparks increase risk of house fires
Monday 5 July 2010 – 9:20 AM

A cold snap that has left the southern part of Western Australia shivering in the past week could also spark an increased risk of house fires.


As people crank up their heating to escape the winter blues they should not become complacent about fire safety. 


Fire Investigation Officer Jim Bell said colder weather often caused people to take more risks with heaters and open fires.  


“You should never leave your heater unattended and if you’re drying clothes keep them at least a metre away from the heater so they don’t catch fire,” Mr Bell said.


“If you have a fuel heater always take it outside to refuel it and if you have an open fireplace ensure it has a protective guard to stop sparks flying out.”


Mr Bell said older heaters and electric blankets should be tested before being used.


The warning coincides with the release of a new home fire safety information booklet for Aboriginal families.


The Fire Safety In Your Home – Protect Your Home, Protect Your Life booklet was launched today as part of FESA’s NAIDOC Week celebrations.


FESA Indigenous Strategy and Policy Manager Moya Newman said when it comes to fire safety FESA ensures people from many cultures have access to information they can learn from.


“This booklet contains easy to understand information and beautiful photographs of Aboriginal families to highlight the importance of getting your entire family involved in being aware of things that could cause a fire around your home,” Ms Newman said.


“People are urged to talk to their family about what to do if their home catches fire and to plan ahead by looking for more than one way to get out of each room in their house.”


To obtain a copy of the new booklet call (08) 9323 9300 or visit the FESA website at www.fesa.wa.gov.au and click on safety information.


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