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Media Release

Preventable house fires a concern as winter comes to an end
Tuesday 27 August 2013 – 8:00 AM

Firefighters have been called to preventable house fires every day on average since the start of winter, and are reminding people to take care while the weather remains cool.

Since 1 June firefighters have attended 106 accidental house fires causing an estimated $2.5 million damage and injuring seven people.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services Metropolitan Superintendent Craig Waters said common causes of house fires this winter included leaving cooking unattended and heaters being too close to clothing, furniture or other combustibles.

Superintendent Waters said another cause of house fires had been children playing with fire and ignition devices, including a few incidents involving children under five years old.

"Simple ways to prevent fires are to keep all objects at least one metre from the heater, supervise children around any ignition devices or heaters, and never leave cooking unattended,” he said.

"Children are naturally curious about fire and what takes everyone by surprise, and not only children, is how unpredictable fires can be and how fast they can spread.

"There may only be a week left of winter but we know the weather can still be cool in September and we are urging everyone to be careful around open flames or when heating their homes."

Superintendent Waters said a working smoke alarm was vital to survival in a house fire, and although smoke alarms had already saved several people this winter, there were still frequent incidents when an alarm was not working.


"Smoke alarms have a limited life span, so it’s important to change the whole unit, regardless of the power source, every 10 years,” he said.

Media contact: DFES Media and Public Affairs on 9225 5955.


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