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MFB calls for vigilance following one of the busiest nights for firefighters this winter

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14 Jul 2018
Following one of the busiest nights for firefighters this winter, MFB is urging Melburnians to stay vigilant and take steps to minimise the risk preventable fires at home.

Since 2pm on Friday afternoon, MFB firefighters have responded to five separate major house fires across the metropolitan district.

MFB’s specialist Fire Investigation crews are spread across the city investigating the causes of the blazes which have wreaked havoc for residents in Macleod, Clayton South, Viewbank and at two separate homes in Sunshine West.

The first fire at a home on Lookout Rise, Macleod is believed to have been caused by a non-compliant electrical appliance, and the blaze at Springfield Avenue in Clayton South was caused by a faulty refrigerator plugged in in the property’s garage.

The causes of the fire at Viewbank, and the two separate incidents in Sunshine West remain under investigation.

MFB Assistant Chief Fire Officer Martin Braid urged all Victorians to take some simple steps to prevent fires from occurring as we come into the second point of winter.

“In winter, we tend to spend more time inside and use more electrical appliances such as heaters to keep warm.

“Most of the house fires we attend can be prevented, and as we have seen over the course of the evening, lives can be saved thanks to working smoke alarms,” said ACFO Martin Braid.

MFB is urging the community to follow these simple steps to ensure the safety of their family and to protect their property from damage:

 

  • Make sure your smoke alarms are in good working order.
  • Ensure all electrical appliances including heaters and power boards are kept in good working order and replace if damaged.
  • Know your fire escape plan and practice it regularly.
  • Never leave cooking unattended and keep your cooking area free from built up grease, dust and oil.
  • Keep drying clothes and other items at least one metre away from all heaters.
  • Extinguish cigarettes, candles, incense and oil burners before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Make sure your fireplace has a fireguard to prevent sparks and embers from entering the living area, and regularly clean and maintain the flue and chimney.

For more home fire safety tips, see MFB’s Home Fire Safety Booklet

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The Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authority Council (AFAC) recommends monthly testing of smoke alarms to ensure they are working correctly.

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