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One third of home fires occur in the kitchen

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31 May 2013
Victoria has more than 3,800 residential fires each year, with more than one third of fires occurring in the kitchen.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and Country Fire Authority (CFA) today launched the 2013 Home Fire Safety Campaign, highlighting the increased risk of home fire during the winter period. 

MFB CEO Nick Easy urged Victorians to be vigilant with home fire safety during winter.

“Many people only associate fire dangers with the hotter summer months but home fires are also a real risk to Victorians during the cooler months,” he said.

The campaign aims to remind Victorians to consider the fire safety of family, friends, neighbours and older people who are living alone. Last winter, fires accounted for an estimated $97 million in damage.

CFA Deputy Chief Officer Steve Warrington commented: “Sadly, there were twelve fatalities as a result of home fires last year, so it is important that the Victorian community remain aware of the risks during winter. The easiest way to do that is to download and complete their own home fire safety checklist.”

MFB Commander John Rampling said Victoria’s fire services shared a vision of a safer more resilient community.

“Just a few simple actions can help prevent fire in your home – such as always keeping an eye on the cooking and keeping at least one metre clear space around heaters and open fires”

To mark the launch, one of Australia’s most well-loved celebrity chefs and a regular in the kitchen, Tobie Puttock, has shown his support for fire safety by leading a cooking demonstration for fire-fighters at the Eastern Hill fire station this morning.

Tobie Puttock said, "Kitchens can be really dangerous places. It's easy to get side-tracked when you’re cooking so it’s important to always be aware of the dangers that a fire can bring. I have seen small fires start quickly in kitchens due to ovens that had not been cleaned properly and luckily I have always been prepared. Be sure to check your kitchen for risks and have a plan ready."

Other respected Victorian celebrity chefs, including Ian Curley (The European) and Guy Grossi (Grossi Florentino) will also lend their support during the three month campaign.

For more information, or to download a home fire safety checklist, people can visit www.homefiresafety.com.au.

 

Home fire safety tips to help safeguard the home from fire:

• Never leave cooking, heaters, open fires or candles unattended

• Don't overload power boards

• Keep electrical appliances in good working order

• Ensure cigarette ash and butts are extinguished. Never smoke in bed

• Do not dry clothing less than one metre from heaters

• Clean lint filters on clothes dryers after every use and always let dryers complete the cool-down cycle

• Store all matches and lighters out of reach of children

• By law every home must have at least one working smoke alarm installed on each level of the house. Clean and test your alarms regularly and make sure they are working

• Install a fire extinguisher and fire blanket and know how to use them

• Have a home fire escape plan and practise it regularly

• Never deadlock yourself inside the house. Keep keys in the lock when you are at home

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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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