The Cobram Courier

Check heaters before use

- By Jamie Salter

As residents start turning on heaters to ward off the colder weather, firefighte­rs are urging people to be aware of the fire risk inside their homes.

Cobram Fire Brigade captain Adrian Hilder said now was the time to check home heating systems.

‘‘Heaters sit idle for the summer months and consume dust and dirt, whether it’s an electric heater or a fireplace, once there’s an ignition point, it’ll burn,’’ he said.

‘‘Keep heaters clean and don’t play around with gas and electricit­y, get profession­als to look at them.’’

Mr Hilder said house fires were usually preventabl­e by having heaters cleaned and inspected.

‘‘If you say, ‘It will be alright’, you might not have a house next week,’’ he said.

Drying clothing near fireplaces and heaters can also be dangerous and clothes should be kept at least 1 m away from a heat source.

‘‘Another thing is to clear lint build up in dryers and to never leave anything running if you’re not at home,’’ Mr Hilder said.

‘‘Smoke alarms are also important — only working alarms save lives.’’

On average, there are about 3000 preventabl­e house fires in Victoria each year.

It is recommende­d to have gas heaters profession­ally serviced every two years.

CFA chief officer Jason

Heffernan maintained could also carbon poisoning.

‘‘There should be no greater reason to have your gas heater inspected and serviced than to ensure the safety of loved ones,’’ he said.

‘‘We have seen tragic consequenc­es of this in the past.

‘‘Every household should consider their fire safety practices and examine the potential risks around their home.’’

● said poorly gas heaters cause deadly monoxide

www.cfa.vic.gov.au/planprepar­e/fires-in-the-home

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 ??  ?? Check before use: Cobram Fire Brigade captain Adrian Hilder said people should check their heating systems to avoid house fires.
Check before use: Cobram Fire Brigade captain Adrian Hilder said people should check their heating systems to avoid house fires.

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