Plea to families to prevent house fires this winter

FIRE support services are urging families to be vigilant this winter to limit the dangers of house fires.

Firies have been called to 27 fires in Ipswich and surrounding towns already this year and they're preparing for the busiest time of the year when heaters and electric blankets are switched on.

Logan House Fire Support Network founder Louie Naumovski said with the colder nights fast approaching, he was urging all residents to prepare themselves and avoid any further house fires.

"A snapshot of house fire statistics across the state from the January 1, there have been 568 house fire call outs and sadly 12 lives lost in house fire related deaths," he said.

"We do not want the statistics to continue to climb, and again reiterate to all residents to take care during these colder nights and throughout the year.

He said there were some simple steps households could follow to limit the chance of their home burning down.

"If you are going to get the heater out that has been stored away for many months, be sure to wipe away any dust from the appliance, keep the heater one metre away from any object, especially lounge suits," he said.

"Do not use candles, but if you feel the need to do so, keep well away from curtains and other materials that could catch alight and be sure to place on a metal base.

"Do not overload your power adaptors with the extra appliances that will be dragged out during the colder days and nights.

"Please be vigilant in the kitchen, when cooking the saying goes 'don't stop looking while you are cooking'."

Mr Naumovski said anyone using electric blankets should be sure to check for any kinks or frayed edges in the cords.

"If you are unsure, it would be wise to purchase a new one, and be sure to turn off the blanket when entering the bed before going to sleep," he said.

 Queensland has the safest Smoke Alarm legislation in the world, and Mr Naumovski says he is urging everyone to upgrade to the new legislation as soon as possible.

"Test that your Smoke Alarms are operational and working, we advise to use the test button once a month, if the unit is not working, contact your local electrical contractor and install a Photoelectric Smoke Alarm," he said.  

"We urge all residents and families to practice a well-rehearsed fire escape plan, practice it day and night, let your family know what procedures are in place in the event of a fire, including a meeting place typically the letterbox or a few doors up the road. And lastly have a fire extinguisher and fire blanket handy."

More details can be found at https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/community-safety/smokealarms/Pages/default.aspx .



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