CFA house fires warning

Firefighters have pleaded with residents to play it smart, especially in their kitchens, following the release of new data that shows brigades were called to 52 preventable house fires in Hume in 2015.

Figures published on the Safe Mistake Zone website of the MFB and CFA also reveal there were 20 preventable incidents in the Macedon Ranges last year.

Sunbury CFA operations officer Mark Owen said firefighters attending local house fires had noticed a disturbing trend.

“A lot of the time, we are finding that people are going outside or even heading off down the street and leaving something on the stove,” he said. “Pots on stoves continue to be a real problem, along with things like deep fryers.”

Mr Owen urged residents to get in the habit of switching off appliances and chargers at power points.

“We’re often called to fires where there’s been an electrical fault,” he said.

“Things like phones and laptops that have already been charged, even TVs … before going out, if you switch them off at the wall, they are off and your home is safe.”

CFA chief officer Joe Buffone warned momentary lapses and bad habits could have a lifelong impact. He said more people were killed every year by preventable house fires than bushfire emergencies.

“There are hundreds of little mistakes that people make every day without thinking,” he said. “Things like overloading your power boards or burning candles too close to curtains … we want people to think twice before putting their homes and their families at risk.”

Prevention tips: