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Get your ducts in a row ahead of winter, firefighters warn

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17 May 2019
Firefighters are urging caution after a ducted heating unit sparked a blaze in Clayton over the weekend.

MFB crews were called to the home after smoke and flames were spotted issuing from the roof.

It took 40 firefighters just under an hour to get the fire under control. Thankfully, no one was at home at the time.

Specialist Fire Investigators later determined that the fire had begun in the heating unit, spreading quickly through the ducts in the ceiling, setting the roof alight and causing it to collapse.

MFB’s Assistant Chief Fire Officer of Fire Safety Trent Curtin said the fire was a timely reminder to all community members and highlighted the importance of getting heating systems properly maintained and regularly serviced by a qualified tradesperson. 

“We believe the fire was caused by a build-up of dust within the heating ducts and unit, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Curtin said.

“The return air grill did not have a filter, which allowed decades worth of dust to build up, creating textbook fire conditions.

“It’s important to ensure that your heating systems are not only serviced regularly but cleaned to ensure they are safe to operate. It’s these simple steps that can save your life and prevent damage to your property.

“Many people install or move to a new place with a heating system they aren’t familiar with and simply set and forget the appliance. 

“Many house fires firefighters attend can be prevented, and regular maintenance and proper servicing is the key to ensuring you and your family remain safe this winter.”

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