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Victorian preventable house fire statistics

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Cooking and electrical fires still cause the most house fires across Victoria, according to CFA’s latest preventable fire statistics.

Victorian preventable house fire statistics

In 2017, in CFA districts, there were 1588 preventable house fires, causing more than $42 million in damage.

Overall, preventable residential fires were down 2.9% in 2017.

The areas with the costliest damage were in Melbourne’s peri-urban fringe, including the districts covering the suburbs Dandenong, Caroline Springs and Narre Warren.

Most preventable fires start in the kitchen, followed by lounge rooms, bedrooms, chimneys and then garages.

 

TOP 3 CAUSES OF FIRES

2017 TOTAL

% OF TOTAL

2016 TOTAL

% CHANGE

Cooking

438

28%

↓12%

499

Electrical

403

25%

↑6%

379

Heating

266

17%

↑3%

258

The 2017 Preventable Fire Statistics demonstrate that while CFA community education efforts are having a profound effect, there is a long way to go in reducing the amount of preventable fires in our community.

The number of fires starting in the kitchen is down 8% from 2016; however they still make up more than a third (37%) of incidents. Cooking related fires are down 12%. Fires starting at stoves, ovens and cooktops led to 274 incidents.

Electrical fires are the largest cause of property loss, causing an estimated $9.8 million in damage.

CFA Acting Chief Officer Garry Cook said that while the drop in preventable fires was encouraging, home fire safety education and preparedness remained a top priority for the CFA.

“Working smoke alarms save lives. This is clearly demonstrated through the fact that while there were more than 1500 preventable house fires across the state, property loss was far greater than the loss of life,” Acting Chief Officer Cook said.

“Our message is clear. Check your smoke alarm’s battery and if your smoke alarm is aged 10 years or more the whole unit should be changed.”

Acting Chief Officer Cook said the figures also showed how the services of CFA were changing.

“Yes, we fight bushfires but we do so much more. We are an urban firefighting authority that operates throughout Victoria, including across 60% of metropolitan Melbourne’.

“A 2.9% drop in incidents in a calendar year is a solid result, given the population growth rate that has been concentrated in CFA’s service area.”

Acting Chief Officer Cook said education was often an overlooked, but arguably the most important, aspect of what CFA does.

“The best way to stop a fire is to teach a person how to be safe in the home and stop a fire before it even begins. This includes reaching out to our multi-cultural communities, making sure regardless of whether you speak English or not you are safe around fires.”

“Whether we are educating people about not drying clothes too close to the heater, never leaving cooking unattended, or keeping lighters away from children, it is all part of our ultimate goal of protecting life and property.”

PREVENTABLE RESIDENTIAL FIRE STATISTICS 1 January to 31 December 2017

 

TOTAL

TOTAL PREVENTABLE RESIDENTIAL FIRES

1588

Total Fatalities

5

Total Property Loss

$42m

Room of Origin (top 3)

2017 TOTAL

% OF TOTAL

% CHANGE

2016 TOTAL

Kitchen

569

37%

 

 

Lounge

141

9%

 

 

Bedroom

131

9%

 

 

Main Fire Types (top 3)

 

 

Cooking

438

33%

↓12%

499

Electrical

403

30%

↑6%

379

Heating Related Fires

266

20%

↑3%

258

Major Causes of Fire (top 3)

2017 TOTAL

% OF TOTAL

% CHANGE

2016 TOTAL

Unattended cooking

264

20%

↓10%

295

Fixed electrical appliance

143

11%

↓5%

151

Chimney fire

121

9%

↓5%

128

Source: CFA

 ENDS