Firies call for winter home safety

Published 5:00am 25 May 2024

Firies call for winter home safety
Words by Nick Crockford

Firefighters are warning residents in the City of Moreton Bay to stay vigilant when warming up this winter.

Each year, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) are called to hundreds of preventable house fires.

Figures show in 2023 QFES responded to 1642 house fires - 40 per cent are reported to have started in a kitchen or dining area.

Of those, 517 were in the Brisbane Region, which includes the Northern Zone, from Kilcoy to Caboolture and Bribie, down to Sandgate, across to Dayboro and into Brisbane’s northern suburbs.

“We usually see an uptick in home structure fires in the colder months given the increased use of potentially hazardous electrical devices,” QFES Chief Superintendent Kevin Reading said.

Of particular concern was the risk of fire due to faulty heating devices.

“We often put our electric heaters and blankets away after winter and don’t see them again until May,” Mr Reading said.

“It’s important to give your electrical equipment a good once over when you take them out of the cupboard.

“Make sure you wipe them down to remove any dust that could act as an ignition source and check your device for any sign of damage.”

Another common cause of preventable house fires is overloading power boards with electrical appliances.

Firies call for winter home safety

“Make sure you always use a power board with a built-in circuit breaker and regularly inspect them for signs of dust or damage,” Mr Reading said.

Fitting interconnected smoke alarms can also be a lifesaver.

“Interconnected smoke alarms make sure you’re alerted to the danger of fire as early as possible, so you and your family have time to get out of the house safely,” Mr Reading said.

“Spending a few minutes creating an escape plan will remove a lot of the guess work should a house fire start, so it’s always good to create a plan or review your old one at the beginning of winter each year.”

To create your fire escape plan head to www.qfes.qld.gov.au/Fire-Escape or click here.

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