Vic Park a hot spot for house fires

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

THE Town of Vic­to­ria Park has ex­pe­ri­enced a spike in the num­ber of house fires com­pared to other south­ern lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas.

There were 30 house fires dur­ing the 2016-17 fi­nan­cial year, com­pared with nine in the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year.

The De­part­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices fig­ures showed the num­ber of house fires rose in each lo­cal gov­ern­ment area ex­cept Ar­madale, which fell by two, and Melville, which fell by 11.

In­surer RAC has seen a surge in the num­ber of claims for se­ri­ous house fires over the past four years in win­ter and early spring.

RAC In­surance home claims man­ager Glen Walker said there was nearly a 20 per cent in­crease in fire claims over the months of July, Au­gust and Septem­ber be­tween 2013 and 2016. He urged peo­ple to re­duce the risk at home. “Flammable items be­ing left too close to heaters, open fire­places, can­dles, elec­tric blan­kets and over­loaded power boards are just some of the ways a house fire can start,” he said.

“Even dust build-up on power boards have sparked house fires. Re­cently we re­sponded to a claim where an old elec­tric blan­ket caught fire.

“Thank­fully, the oc­cu­pant was able to es­cape the fire but there was still $130,000 dam­age caused to the home.”

He urged peo­ple to check their smoke alarms were work­ing and to un­plug ap­pli­ances when not in use.

In­vest­ing in a fire blan­ket or ex­tin­guisher could also help make the home safer.

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