What are the most common causes of winter house fires?
According to analysis done by Suncorp, the most common causes of winter home fires were logs and embers scaping a fire place, electric heater failure, faulty chimney flues, faulty ducted heating, gas heaters, electric blanket failures, bathroom heat lamps exploding.
In an interview with ABC, Director of Electricity Compliance Michael Bunko explained that charging phones or mobile devices on or near beds can expose people to a fire risk, as they dissipate heat as they charge, making them a common cause of fire.
How to prevent house fires in winter
Aside from installing and testing the absolutely essential fire and smoke alarms that should be fitted throughout your home, NSW Fire & Rescue has a handy checklist that every one should keep in mind when fire-proofing their home this winter.
- Never ever leave cooking unattended.
- If you have a fireplace in your home make sure the chimney is clean, and its properly ventilated
- If you have a fireplace always place a screen in front of it when in use.
- Check electric blankets for damage or frayed cords before placing on the bed.
- Take care to keep curtains, tablecloths and bedding away from portable heaters.
- Keep wet clothing at least 1 metre from heaters or fireplaces and never leave unattended.
- If you use a clothes dryer make sure you clean the lint filter each and every time you use it.
- Only use one appliance per power point and switch off when not in use.
- Always extinguish candles or any other open flames before going to bed.
- Always handle candles or any other open flame with care.
- Store matches or lighters in a secure place not accessible to young children.
- Avoid the use of outdoor heating and cooking equipment inside your home.
Further information provided by ACCC’s Product Safety website also warns people to never go to sleep with their electric blankets turned on and to never place heavy items on a bed when the electric blanket is on.
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