house fire
60% of the fires emergency services responded to actually occurred in winter. Image – Canva.
  • ACT Fire and Rescue warns fires spread faster due to open plan living, but most are preventable
  • More than half of all fires occur in winter, with an increase seen last year

After an increase in household fires caused by heaters and dryers across the Australian Capital Territory last year, the ACT Government has called for residents to think about fire risks in the home, and what actions to take if a fire begins.

According to the ACT Government, about 60% of fires the ACT Fire and Rescue Emergency responds to annually, occur in winter.

“Kitchen fires continue to be the leading cause of home fires every winter,” said Mick Gentlemen, Minister for Police and Emergency Services.

“ACT Fire and Rescue is working with the Canberra community to reduce the risk of heater, dryer and kitchen fires in the home and educating them on how to safely respond if threatened by a fire.”

“Most of these fires are preventable. We are reminding the Canberra community to keep flammable materials at least one metre from a heater, to regularly clean the lint filter in your dryer, and not to leave cooking unattended.”

Mick Gentlemen, Minister for Police and Emergency Services

Matthew Mavity, the Acting ACT Fire & Rescue Administrative Chief Officer, said the spread of fires has increased in households due to open plan living, which has emphasised the importance of residents understanding how to extinguish a small fire safely.

“Understanding what actions to take if a fire was to start in your home, like using a fire blanket or extinguisher, can reduce the amount of damage sustained,” said Mr Mavity.

“This winter, we will be educating the Canberra community on the simple actions they can take to ensure the safety of themselves, loved ones and their property.

“Of course, if a fire does take hold in your home, the safest thing to do is to get out and call triple zero (000).”

Matthew Mavity, ACT Fire & Rescue

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