Kitchens main culprits in house fire hot spot
MT DRUITT Fire Station deals with more residential fires than any other in NSW. The majority of the fires are started in the kitchen between 5pm and 11pm, when people are usually at home cooking or using electrical outlets for their TV and other devices. Station Commander Daron Lesslie said Mt Druitt’s population density and older houses contributed to the call-out frequency. “They’re not all housing commission fires,” he said. “Particularly in Mt Druitt, there are a lot of electrical fires including fuse box and circuit box fires, but also the houses were built quickly and cheaply due to the government at the time.
“Most of the fires are not deliberate, but most are deemed suspicious mainly because we can’t find the cause on the night.”
Mr Lesslie said a lot of house fires started because of something as simple as getting distracted.
“Nearly half happen in the kitchen, because we have so many distractions: phones, TV and internet,” he said.
“Uncleaned grills and ovens and leftover fat in trays also easily catch fire.”
The first crew on the scene will determine how many other trucks are needed for the particular fire.
The crew will then split into two: one to extinguish the fire and the other to make sure there is no one left in the house.
“You have got three minutes to get out in order to survive a standard house fire,” Mr Lesslie said.
“A standard house fire will usually need two trucks. If it spreads then we need more.
“The quicker we get called the less damage there is going to be.”
Mr Lesslie underlined the importance of smoke alarms, which became mandatory for homes in 2006. He encouraged people to check if their alarm needed replacing because they only lasted 10 years.