Small mistakes cause house fires

CFA is urging residents to heed fire safety messages and pay attention to the small mistakes that can cause serious fires at home.

The Safe Mistake Zone, a joint campaign by CFA and MFB, launched this week and aims to raise awareness of the thousands of preventable home fires caused by making a mistake – a moment of carelessness, forgetfulness or neglect.

CFA District 13 Acting Operations Manager Greg Christison said along with the cooler weather more people would be firing up their wood heaters, using clothes dryers and turning on electric blankets to stay warm.

“There are simple steps people can take to protect themselves to avoid a tragedy,” he said.

“These steps include making sure heaters are properly checked and maintained, chimneys are cleaned, and power boards are not overloaded.

“Ensure your home has a working smoke alarm, keep your clothing at least a metre away from heaters, and never smoke in bed.”

Manager of Community Safety Tammy Garrett said the most common cause of preventable fires were distractions in the kitchen and leaving cooking unattended on the stove.

“It’s very easy to get distracted, especially around dinner time. But it’s the small distractions that lead to fires, and in some cases, cause serious injury and damage to your home,” she said.

“Most fatal fires occur in the home and can be prevented, which is why we’re asking people to have a good understanding of what causes fires and know how to prevent them.”

Last year CFA firefighters attended 1,646 preventable house fires in Victoria. In Knox there were 69 preventable house fires in the same period, and 54 in the Yarra Ranges, 13 in Manningham and six in Maroondah.

“People have an ‘it will never happen to me’ mindset, but the reality is that it does happen. Everyone needs to pay attention – home fire safety is everyone’s responsibility,” Ms Garrett said.

Author: CFA Media