War on win­ter fires

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

FIRE­FIGHT­ERS have started a cam­paign against elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ances, in­door clothes dry­ing and can­dles caus­ing house fires in win­ter.

“What we do see is a lot of dry­ing clothes catch­ing on fire be­cause they are too close to heaters, or bed clothes catch alight when a heater has been put too near a bed on a cold night,” Clare­mont fire sta­tion of­fi­cer Brian Hill said.

A hair dryer that was ac­ci­den­tally switched on and left unat­tended, caus­ing a $1.2 mil­lion Pep­per­mint Grove house fire last month, demon­strated how elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ances and heaters not used in sum­mer were a po­ten­tial dan­ger in the cooler months.

“Most house fires are ac­ci­den­tal and pre­ventable and we want peo­ple to be as cau­tious in­side at this time of year as they would be out­side with open fires in sum­mer,” Mr Hill said.

Fire­fight­ers could be called out up to once a day to fires which could be pre­vented at homes.

Other than clothes dry­ing near heaters, other in­door dan­gers were un­su­per­vised open fire­places with­out fire­guards or clean chim­neys, wheat­bags for mus­cle pain be­ing over­heated in mi­crowave ovens and tea tow­els left on ovens.

“Open flame can­dles are an ab­so­lute no-no if you may be fall­ing asleep, and if you want to burn in­cense use an elec­tric fra­grance burner,” Mr Hill said.

All homes should have fire alarms, which should be re­placed ev­ery 10 years and their bat­ter­ies tested each month be­fore be­ing re­placed on April 1.

Po­lice said the cause of a fire at a Sal­is­bury Street, Cottes­loe house about 8.20pm last Thurs­day was un­de­ter­mined. A woman in the home was treated for smoke in­hala­tion at Sir Charles Gaird­ner Hos­pi­tal.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d440213

Clare­mont fire sta­tion of­fi­cer Brian Hill with power­boards that have caused fires in homes.

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