Get fire-safe this winter
SITTING by a wood-fire heater may be a rite of passage for Granite Belt locals, but the last thing anyone wants is to see their home up in flames.
If anyone knows how to make your home safe this winter, it’s Stanthorpe fire station officer in charge Captain Ian Barden, who has shared the best ways to keep your home fire-safe.
“The first thing is to make sure the smoke alarms are working,” Cpt Barden said.
“Make sure the batteries are working, give it a test and make sure the grilles are all clean and the smoke alarm is within the 10-year period.”
If you’re going to use a wood-fire heater there are some other important steps to take.
“Because people have got wood heaters, they should make sure they have their chimney cleaned out in the off-season so that now it’s all clean and ready to go, so they’re not at risk of any chimney fires,” Cpt Barden said.
“We usually get our chimney fires because people get a bit complacent, people think they cleaned it out last year, it couldn’t get that dirty in a season.
“Be sure if you’re going to dry your clothes in front of a heater to have them at least a metre away, because anything within a metre could catch radiated heat and actually catch washing on fire.”
He said electric blankets also needed special care.
“Make sure the cords are in good order. If they’re in any way shape or form frayed, cut them off and put them in the bin. Don’t take any risks.”
Cpt Barden said any households that didn’t already have an electronics safety switch should get one installed to help prevent electrical fires.
“It only takes a second for a serious fire to start. If you don’t have smoke alarms and everything prepared, it can destroy your house pretty quick,” he said.
In an emergency, make sure everyone has evacuated the home before dialling 000.
FIRE SAFETY: Even though we are coming into winter, firefighters Shane Cartwright and Ian Barden are uging people to remain fire-safety conscious.