Vic Park a hot spot for house fires
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.