Common home fire hazards

A scorched bed.

As the cold weather settles in, residential house fires become a bigger risk.

The Country Fire Authority (CFA) has launched its annual winter fire safety campaign, warning people of which household appliances can cause a fire.

Laptops, phones, televisions, power boards, and loose cables are among the electrical equipment that often cause house fires due to overheating or being faulty.

Deputy Chief Officer Trevor Owen said using faulty or damaged electrical equipment could

result an increased risk of fire at home, urging people to ensure their appliances are in good condition before plugging them in.

“People need to remember that when electrical appliances are left on for an extended period of time they could overheat and have disastrous effects,” he said.

“We are urging residents to check their electrical appliances including computers and

televisions which are more readily used in home at present.

“Check you’re not overloading power boards or have loose cables, ensure monitors, laptops, televisions and other equipment have a good air flow around them and are not in confined spaces or covered for example leaving laptops and mobile phones on your beds.”

The CFA also recommends each household checks electrical appliances for product recall notices using the www.productsafety.gov.au website.

“Make sure you turn off electrical appliances before going to bed,” he added.

“When leaving your home unattended it is best to unplug your electrical appliances.

“Our firefighters don’t want anyone to come home to their house on fire, so spending the time to check your appliances condition and ensuring you turn them off properly is essential.”

The CFA’s electrical appliances safety tips include:

• Always follow the manufacturers’ instructions when using any electrical appliance.

• Use low wattage globes in lamps.

• Turn off all electrical appliances at the power point when not in use.

• Only use certified electrical tradespeople to repair damaged/faulty electrical appliances,

wiring or equipment.

• Avoid using double adaptors.

• Use power boards according to manufacturers’ instructions, never overload and check

regularly for damage.