Queenslanders are being advised not to leave home fire safety out in the cold this winter, as new figures reveal the State’s south east is at greater risk of house fires during the cooler months.
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford said the trend toward house fires during winter was worrying for those in Brisbane and the broader south east corner.
“Last year, firefighters attended about 520 house fires in winter,” Mr Crawford said.
“The south-east accounted for nearly two-thirds of this figure, with more than 300 house fires attended by firefighters in three months.
“Most house fires occurred in Logan, Brisbane and on the Gold Coast, which indicates residents from south-east Queensland need to exercise extra caution.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to keeping Queenslanders safe and today’s warning is just one way of doing that.”
Member for Lytton Joan Pease said families should pay close attention to heating devices, particularly if they have not been used in some time.
“Over the past five years, heating devices have been responsible for almost 200 house fires in winter,” she said.
“If you are using a heater or electric blanket, check the appliance for fraying, exposed cords or other damage, and if it is faulty, replace or repair the item.”
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Katarina Carroll said Queenslanders should also take care in the kitchen, where cooking appliances were a common ignition source for fires all year round.
“We know nearly half of all house fires start in the cooking area of the home; each year, firefighters attend an average of nearly 900 kitchen fires across the state,” Ms Carroll said.
“If you’re warming up with a winter soup, remember your kitchen safety tips, such as smothering a fat fire instead of dousing with water and keeping flammable items away from stoves and cooking spaces.”
Ms Carroll said it was important for all members of the family to understand simple fire safety practices, as well as creating a fire escape plan to use in case of an emergency.
“If you haven’t prepared one already, now is the time to draw up your fire escape plan,” she said.
“Sit down with your family, work out your best route to escape, where you will meet safely, and then practise, practise, practise.
“It is crucial that every member of the family, including children, understands what to do in an emergency.”
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Craig Crawford