A recent report by the insurance group SGIO has found that July is the worst winter month for house fires, and so it’s important that Mudgee residents take all preventative measures that they can to make sure that a fire doesn’t break out in their home.
While heaters and other appliances can be a common cause of fires during winter, the SGIO report found that most house fires start in the kitchen.
This is probably because a lot more people are spending time at home during winter, cooking up warming meals, and this is leading to cooking accidents where a fire can break out. When cooking it’s important to always keep an eye on what is happening, and to never leave a stove unattended.
Appliances can still be a fire hazard however, with microwaves, dishwashers, dryers and reverse-cycle air-conditioners being the most common culprits.
Fires caused by appliances can help be prevented by making sure they are clean and free of dust (remember to clean the filters of air-conditioners and dryers) and by making sure that power boards aren’t overloaded.
The SGIO report also suggests the following:
- install a photoelectric smoke alarm(s) and test monthly. If you have battery-operated alarms, change the batteries at least once a year;
- have an evacuation plan and make sure everyone in the house knows and practises it;
- keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket at hand in the kitchen;
- don’t key-lock deadlocks on doors when at home in case you need to leave in a hurry;
- call 000 immediately if a fire does break out that cannot be safely and quickly controlled; and
- ensure your insurance is up-to-date.
Hopefully by being aware of potential fire risks in our homes we can prevent house fires in Mudgee this winter and for the rest of the year too.