Christ­mas fire risk

Southern Riverina news - - News -

Lo­cal fire­fight­ers are urg­ing res­i­dents to check their Christ­mas lights and en­sure that power boards and power points are used cor­rectly, to re­duce their home fire risk.

Tocumwal Sta­tion Com­man­der Merv Reed said over­load­ing power boards and power points can spark a fire.

“Poor main­te­nance or in­cor­rect us­age of power boards can re­sult in house fires, en­dan­ger­ing lives and caus­ing con­sid­er­able dam­age to prop­erty,’’ he said.

“There were 673 res­i­den­tial fires be­tween 1 De­cem­ber 2010 and 31 Jan­uary 2011, with 85 peo­ple in­jured dur­ing that pe­riod.

‘‘At least 21 of those fires in­volved elec­tri­cal equip­ment and at least 11 were caused by can­dles.

“When you plug in the Christ­mas lights and dust off the fans and por­ta­ble air­con­di­tion­ers to keep cool over sum­mer, en­sure that you have checked all elec­tri­cal cords and power boards – if they are dam­aged re­place them im­me­di­ately.’’

Re­mov­ing dust from a power board and po­si­tion­ing it on its side will re­duce the risk of dust set­tling in unused points, which could spark a fire, he said.

“Fire and Res­cue NSW also rec­om­mends that you only use power boards with built-in safety switches and cir­cuit break­ers.”

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