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SEQ Tops House Fire Hotspot List

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House fires in Queensland are more common in winter (Photo: Jim Bond)

June 5, 2019

The State Government is urging householders to pay attention to fire safety risks after new data revealed the State’s south-east is at greater risk of house fires during winter.

Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said the trend of winter house fires was worrying.

“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.

He 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 winter house fires,” he 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.”

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Katarina Carroll said Queenslanders should also take care in the kitchen, where cooking appliances were a common source for fires all year round.

“We know nearly half of all house fires start in the cooking area of the home,” Ms Carroll said.

“Each year, firefighters attend an average of nearly 900 kitchen fires across the State.

“If you’re warming up with a winter soup, remember your kitchen safety tips, such as smothering a fat fire instead of dousing with water and keeping flammable items away from stoves and cooking spaces.”

Ms Carroll said it was important for all members of the family to understand simple fire safety practices, as well as having a fire escape plan to use in case of an emergency.

“If you haven’t prepared one already, now is the time to draw one up,” she said.

“Sit down with your family, work out your best route to escape, where you will meet safely, and then practise, practise, practise.

“It is crucial that every member of the family, including children, understands what to do in an emergency.”

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