As the mercury remains very low in parts of the south-west, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is urging residents to be vigilant when using appliances to stay warm in their homes.
QFES Director for Regional Operations Megan Stiffler says homeowners needed to ensure they maintained and used heating equipment correctly.
“People are often surprised at just how easily fires can start in the household.”
“Firefighters regularly attend structure fires caused by faulty or poorly maintained heating devices and incidents where flammable materials were placed too close to appliances.”
“It is crucial that heating appliances are checked, regardless of their age, for fraying, exposed cords or rust.”
“All heaters, whether in the home or outside, need to be kept clear of flammable materials and should be checked regularly for faults or damage.”
“Portable outdoor heaters with gas cylinders and hose fittings should be checked for leaks and should be turned off and disconnected when not in use.”
Ms Stiffler says firefighters had attended incidents where outdoor heating devices were misused and put lives at risk.
“Outdoor heating equipment is designed specifically for use outside, in open, aired spaces and should never be brought inside to warm your home,” she said.
“These appliances can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if operated indoors.”
“Residents should never operate outdoor heating equipment inside their dwelling.”
“With winter truly here, we want everyone to stay safe and prevent hazards that could prove deadly.”
Ms Stiffler says that if a house fire does occur, residents are urged to enact their fire escape plan, leave immediately and call Triple Zero (000) once they have safely exited the home.
QFES offers a free home fire safety visit called Safehome. To book a Safehome visit call 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or visit www.qfes.qld.gov.au