We’re only one month into winter and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews have already attended more than 65 residential structure fires in South Eastern Region since 1 May, 2020.
Logan Area Commander Geoff Townsley said Logan was a major focus for the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) with approximately 23 of those incidents located in the Logan City Local Government Area (LGA).
“Though Ipswich, Beenleigh, Southport and Beaudesert are also considered high-risk localities, Logan continues to be a major hot spot for house fires,” Mr Townsley said.
“Due to the colder weather, people are spending a lot more time indoors, using appliances and heating equipment which can increase the chances of a fire starting.
“We often see a spike in house fires during the cooler months, so it is important to remain vigilant at home, particularly during winter, to ensure your home and family are prepared.”
Mr Townsley said the top three causes of residential structure fires so far this winter were cooking equipment, heating systems and electrical distribution equipment like power boards.
“As we start to see the temperatures drop even further, it is very important to prepare,” he said.
“This includes checking appliances for fraying or exposed cords, taking care when using matches, lighters and candles, and making sure flammable materials aren’t placed too close to curtains or bedding.”
Assistant Commissioner Kevin Walsh said another step families should take was to create and regularly practice a fire escape plan.
“The importance of having an escape plan cannot be underestimated,” Mr Walsh said.
“There is very little time between hearing your smoke alarm and making an escape, so it’s essential the entire household knows how to make their way out of the building in a safe and timely manner.
“Parents should practice with their kids and make it an on-going activity so it becomes second nature.”
Mr Walsh said there were several simple steps that people could take to protect their family, pets and property, including:
• Check all electrical items are in a good condition and do not use if damaged.
• Install an electrical safety switch and only use one appliance per power point.
• Regularly clean your oven, stovetop, rangehood, clothes dryer and air-conditioner filters.
• Store matches and lighters in a safe place and out of reach of children.
• Turn off your electric blanket before going to sleep at night.
• Do not use outdoor heating and cooking equipment inside your home.
For more information about winter fire safety and to prepare your fire escape plan, visit www.qfes.qld.gov.au/fireescape