by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerange.com.au
A recent home fire at Southend, (pictured above) starting in the kitchen, was attended by Police, Ambulance and 3 CFS Units from Millicent, Rendelsham and Southend. Damage is not evident from the outside but there was considerable damage inside the home and it is believed to have began on the stove top.
Keep looking when cooking is an initiative of the NSW Fire and Rescue and is a timely reminder that kitchen fires are often the cause of home fires. There has been a spate of home fires causing serious injury and in some cases death in the past few weeks. It has been reported stove top fires have been among the causes which also included logs rolling out of fires and incorrectly fitted appliances.
The South Australian Fire Service said, “House fires happen everyday. The biggest tragedy is that the majority of house fires are preventable.”.
To prevent stove top fires:-
- Never leave the stove unattended.
- Check that electric cords, curtains, tea towels and oven cloths are at a safe distance from the stove top.
- Be careful of long flowing sleeves contacting gas flames.
The CFS advise if a pan on the stove catches fire and if it is safe to do so you should turn off the stove, never put a fat or oil fire out with water, use a fire extinguisher or fire blanket in the first few seconds of ignition if you are confident to do so and leave the kitchen, close the door and ring Triple Zero (000).
The Australian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC) Report published in March 2005 indicated that the groups of people at risk from dying in house fires are;
- children under the age of 4 years old,
- people over the age of 65 (with vulnerability increasing with age),
- and adults affected by alcohol.
General findings showed that more deaths occurred during sleeping hours of the cooler months, May to September. Most fires occurred in owner-occupied houses and were mainly caused by electrical faults, smoking materials, heaters, open fires and lamps. Smoke alarms were not fitted in most of the homes where deaths occurred and in those that did have them, 31% of them were not working.
More information about fire prevention in your area, can be found on the CFS sights.
The South Australian Fire and Rescue Service is a community based organisation staffed by volunteers to protect life, property and the environment. The person knocking on your door in times of such an emergency is a volunteer – you can volunteer too. Contact your local CFS for further information or call 1300 364 587.