Five 'unusal' ways fires start when it's this hot

FIREFIGHTERS are on alert this weekend as the heatwave takes hold across south east Queensland with Ipswich classed as 'high risk'.

Brassall Fire Station Officer Bob Ironside said it's even more important during extreme heat conditions to ensure people aren't put themselves at risk; both of starting a fire or becoming dehydrated.

There are a few fire risks around the home you probably don't know about.

Officer Ironside's first tip, is to put off the mowing until it cools down, but if that's not an option take extra care when handling fuel.

"We're urging people to use common sense and be extra careful," Officer Ironside said.

"There isn't a lot of wind today and we're hoping those conditions don't change throughout the weekend."

>>EXPLAINED: Why this heatwave could go down in history

Here are five 'unusual' ways a fire can accidentally start around your home when it's this hot.

1. Think twice before parking your car in long grass.

"If you've just driven it, the exhaust is hot and that can cause grass fires, so try not park in long grass," Officer Ironside said.

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2. If you have to mow, make sure you turn off the mower or whipper snipper and let them cool down before refuelling.

"With small engine devices such as whipper snippers, mowers the heat on the exhaust of the engine can start a fire while refuelling," Officer Ironside said.  

3. Clean the lint trap in the clothes dryer and don't leave anything inside.

According to Officer Ironside this is a common cause of fires. Clean the lint trap out so it doesn't self-combust in the heat, don't stop the dryer before the cycle is finished and don't leave clothes inside.

"Women's bras are a particular issue. The metal underwire can heat up and catch fire inside the tumble dryer if left inside with hot clothes," he said.

4. Static electricity can ignite fuel.

"For example if you're decanting fuel, because the air is so dry, static electricity can ignite the hot fuel. It's not the liquid that burns, it's the vapour."

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5. Finally, cigarette butts thrown onto the lawn or out the car window are a big no, no.

The grass along the road side is already dry and a fire can spread quickly from a tossed, burning cigarette butt.

Myth busted

Station Officer Ironside said despite the belief that leaving a glass bottle out in the sun can spark a bush fire, it's unlikely.

"Anyone who has ever played with a magnifying glass will know you have to get the positioning just right. So it's not impossible for a glass bottle left in grass or the bush land to start a fire, but it is highly unlikely."



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