House fire hotspot

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Don’t leave home fire safety out in the cold this winter.
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Nothing beats snuggling up next to a heater on a cold night, but Queenslanders have been warned to take extra care with electrical appliances this winter.

Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford said house fires had become an increasingly common occurrence in south-east Queensland.

“Last year, firefighters attended about 520 house fires in winter,” Mr Crawford said.

“The south-east accounted for nearly two-thirds of this figure, with more than 300 house fires attended by firefighters in three months.”

Member for Lytton Joan Pease said families should pay close attention to heating devices, particularly if they have not been used in some time.

“Over the past five years, heating devices have been responsible for almost 200 house fires in winter,” Ms Pease said.

“If you are using a heater or electric blanket, check the appliance for fraying, exposed cords or other damage and, if it is faulty, replace or repair the item.”

Queenslanders can book a free Safehome visit to identify any fire and safety hazards around their home.

Tips for heating your home safely

  • Ensure your chimney is clean and properly ventilated.
  • For portable heating, choose models that have automatic safety switches that turn the heater off if tipped over.
  • Position portable heaters away from areas of heavy traffic.
  • Always turn off your heater when going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Keep portable electric heaters away from wet areas to avoid the possibility of electric shock.
  • Ensure only approved fuel is used in liquid-fuelled heaters.
  • Never run a heater near anything flammable such as curtains and bedding.
  • Check heaters and electric blankets for frayed or damaged cords and throw it out if damaged.
  • Use only authorised installers of heating appliances.
  • Ensure heaters are out of reach of children and pets.
  • Have an adequate number of smoke alarms installed and check them regularly.
  • Ensure every family member is aware of emergency exits and what to do in an emergency.

Further information on heating your home safely can be found on the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services website.

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Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.