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Victorians urged to watch their ‘butts’ as Braybrook apartment goes up in flames

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11 Jan 2019
A discarded cigarette butt has sparked a blaze in Braybrook early this morning, prompting a warning from firefighters.

MFB crews were called to Ballarat Road at 6:17am after neighbours spotted smoke billowing from the ground floor of an apartment.

Firefighters arrived on scene in five minutes and quickly forced entry into the smoke-filled apartment to search for occupants.

Luckily, no one was home at the time and firefighters managed to bring the fire under control within 10 minutes.

It’s believed the fire was sparked by a cigarette butt that was dropped onto a couch. Concerningly, on investigation, firefighters discovered that the batteries had been removed from the home’s two smoke alarms, rendering them useless.

MFB is urging all smokers to properly dispose of their cigarette butts and ensure their smoke alarms are in working order.

“For those who smoke, it’s vital to ensure that cigarette butts are disposed of correctly because they can easily cause a fire,” said MFB Acting Deputy Chief Officer Ken Brown.

“These fires can have significant impacts on property and endanger lives."

“The residents of this apartment were very lucky they weren’t home at the time and that their neighbours phoned Triple Zero (000) quickly. Had they gone to bed with no working smoke alarms the outcome may have been very different.”

Victorians can follow these simple steps to ensure the safety of their family and to protect their property from damage: 

  • Always fully extinguish cigarettes before leaving home or going to sleep.
  • Keep cigarettes, lighters and matches out of reach of children.
  • Fully extinguish cigarettes in heavy, high-sided ashtrays to prevent them tipping over.
  • Only working smoke alarms save lives. Make sure your smoke alarms are in good working order by testing them monthly.
  • All residential tenants are responsible for regularly cleaning and testing smoke alarms in their homes and to report any faults to the landlord or agent.
  • MFB recommends 10 year, tamper proof, photoelectric smoke alarms.

 

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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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