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Stay Fire Safe this Winter

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20 Jul 2010
A bedroom fire in Taylors Lakes last night claimed the life of an 84 year old woman. This comes as a very real warning to Victorians to stay fire safe during winter.

The elderly lady suffered only minor burns to her arm but was overcome by smoke inhalation. MFB firefighters who were first on scene and Paramedics tried in vain for 45 minutes to revive her.

The cause of the fire is being jointly investigated by Victoria Police and MFB Fire Investigators.

“It is extremely important that if you sleep with your door closed, you must install another smoke alarm in your room as well. Think of it as an insurance policy, you never know when you might need it, and in many cases it could be the difference between life and death,” said Commander Frank Stockton, from MFB’s Community Education Department.

CFA Director Community Safety Lisa Sturzenegger said, “Having a working smoke alarm and a well practised home fire escape plan is one of the best ways to ensure you and your family’s safety.”

The MFB and CFA suggest the following tips to stay fire safe during winter:

  • If you sleep with the bedroom door closed, you should install another smoke alarm in your bedroom.
  • If you use an electric blanket, you should turn it on 30 minutes before bed and then turn it off as you get into bed.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • If you use aromatic candles and oil burners ensure they are extinguished before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Always ensure that portable heaters are kept at least one metre from combustibles and turn those heaters off before going to bed.
  • It is recommended you use photoelectric smoke alarms, as this type is more effective at detecting slow smouldering fires. Additionally, interconnected smoke alarms are also very effective; if one alarm goes off, all others in the house are activated as well.
  • Plan and practise your home fire escape plan.

For more information contact:

MFB Media (03) 9665 4699
CFA Media (03) 5330 3124

Incident details:

Call received: July 19, 2010, 23:45 hours, Lady Nelson Way, Taylors Lakes.

MFB attendance: 3 x Pumpers, 10 x firefighters

A small bedroom fire in Taylors Lakes has claimed the life of an 84 year-old woman. A neighbour reported seeing the fire through a bedroom window and frantically knocked at the door to alert anyone that was home. Fire crews were on scene within minutes and gained entry by breaking a window. They conducted a search and located the resident on the floor of the bedroom. She was taken outside and given CPR by firefighters and ambulance paramedics. Despite the concerted efforts of all involved, she could not be revived. The woman was the only resident in the house.

A smoke alarm was fitted and was operating correctly but unfortunately, it was not located inside the bedroom where the fire started.

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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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