Seven house fires in a month spark call for caution
QUEENSLAND Fire and Rescue Service officers are urging residents to be vigilant on home safety after a spate of house fires across the region in recent times.
While the number of house fires is not any higher than normal for this time of year, it was important residents did all they could to avoid fires which could leave families devastated in the lead-up to the Christmas festive season.
Station Officer at Toowoomba Fire Station Kent Barron said making sure of the safety of all electrical equipment in the home was always important.
"Our message centres around electrical safety," he said.
"For instance, if you're going to use Christmas lights make sure they are in good order.
"And all air-conditioning units should be serviced by an authorised person."
Ensuring smoke alarms were operational was also important.
During the winter, a lot of house fires are caused by heating apparatus, but the heat of summer can increase the use of air-conditioners and electrical fans.
Stn Officer Barron said the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service was used to dealing with about one such fire a week or "a couple a fortnight" at this time of year and that appeared to be the situation at the moment.
"This time of year is traditionally a busy time for us as well," he said.
However, he said older residents could help keep their house safe from fire by keeping a watch on children who may get hold of cigarette lighters or matches.
"Children do play with lighters and matches so it's best to keep those things out of the reach of children and keep and eye on the kids," he said.
"Another thing to keep an eye on is candles.
"It's important to be aware of an open flame."
There have been five house fires in the Toowoomba region over the past month. There have been eight in the region since November 4.
Fortunately, no fatalities or serious injury has resulted from those fires.
Stn Officer Barron said QFRS crews were also kept busy this time of year with traffic incidents on our roads during the holiday period.
House fire prevention could only help ease their workload.
- December 17: House destroyed by fire in Drury St, Dalby. Family of six escapes without injury. Cause of fire under investigation.
- December 9: Family of five left with just the clothes on their backs after escaping a blaze at their Bowden St, Pittsworth, home.
- December 9: House on the Warrego Hwy at Brigalow is gutted by a fire. Fortunately, the home occupants were next door when the fire started.
- December 6: Flagstone Creek family lose all possessions when their home on Flagstone Creek Rd burns to the ground.
- December 4: Family-of-seven loses everything when their home at Condamine was destroyed by fire
- November 24: A home in Clark St, Clifton is gutted by fire
- November 19: Homeowner and two children escape house fire in Roma
- November 4: Family of 13 escapes a fire which extensively damaged their home in Redwood St, Newtown.