Christmas fire risk
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.”