With the cooler weather a chance to keep kids indoors this school holidays, Queenslanders are being reminded to check the home for fire hazards.
Acting Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Michael Wassing said parents should be mindful of fire hazards around the home, particularly as colder temperatures swept across parts of the state.
“As children today start their school holidays, it is essential for parents to remember that this time of year isn’t all fun and games,” Mr Wassing said.
“The holidays are occurring at what is traditionally the peak period for house fires and residents need to be mindful of this because we do not want the holidays to be disrupted by an emergency.
“While we want families to enjoy the break, it is also the perfect time to check for fire hazards around the home and re-evaluate safety practices.”
Mr Wassing said cooler temperatures meant families might opt to stay indoors these holidays and turn to electrical appliances for warmth and entertainment.
“Families should be mindful of the appliances they are using if they are choosing to stay inside these holidays,” he said.
“We know how great it is to curl up under a blanket and watch streaming services on devices like laptops and tablets, but parents should ask themselves whether they are using those items safely.
“It is vital to provide adequate ventilation around all electrical equipment to avoid excessive heat build-up.
“Residents should also ensure they are not overloading power points by running heaters and charging devices at the same time.
“It only takes a small spark to start a fire, putting all nearby flammable items at risk of catching alight.”
Mr Wassing said parents could also ensure their children’s safety by checking the fire danger on their kids’ clothing.
“If families are rugging up the kids in new clothing purchases, such as pyjamas, they should ensure they always check the label for low fire danger.
“Parents should consider buying clothing that is close-fitting and offers greater fire resistance, such as wool and treated fabrics or fibres.
“Natural fibres offer much more protection as they are harder to ignite and burn slower than synthetic materials.”
Mr Wassing said it was important for parents to instil sound fire safety practices in their children.
“Ask any parent and they will tell you kids are observant and really good at picking up habits from those around them,” Mr Wassing said.
“When they are mindful of fire safety, parents are helping make sure they pass along that skill to the next generation.
“Checking for fire dangers can be fun and educational, so get your children involved and help keep the family safe these school holidays.”