House fires peak in July

02 July 2012

SA residents urged to be extra vigilant, especially in the kitchen

July is the worst winter month for housefires and a third of these start in the kitchen, new research from SGIC has revealed.*

The insurer today urged South Australians to be fire safety aware during the worst month for house fires, and to take particular care in the kitchen. 

According to SGIC Community and Sustainability Manager Megan Lupton, kitchen fires top the list for causing house fires and have the potential to spread quickly, often to curtains or cupboards in a matter of seconds.

“As we’re spending more time indoors during the winter months, we want to highlight how quickly a kitchen fire can spread and put families in danger,” said Ms Lupton.

The insurer is also urging SA residents to be extra vigilant when it comes to appliances, the cause of around one-in-seven house fires.

SGIC customer claims data shows the most common appliance to ignite a fire in the home is a reverse-cycle air conditioning unit, followed by the microwave, dishwasher and dryer.

“It’s important to clean electrical appliances frequently including reverse-cycle air conditioners and the filter on dryers to help prevent fuelling a fire.

“People should also be careful not to overload their power boards and ensure they dust unused power points to help avoid starting an electrical fire,” said Ms Lupton.

To help prevent and be ready for a home fire, SGIC recommends households:

  • stay in the kitchen while cooking is on the stove;
  • install a photoelectric smoke alarm(s) and test monthly. If you have battery-operated alarms, change the batteries at least once a year;
  • have an evacuation plan and make sure everyone in the house knows and practises it;
  • keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket at hand in the kitchen; 
  • don’t key-lock deadlocks on doors when at home in case you need to leave in a hurry;
  • call 000 immediately if a fire does break out that cannot be safely and quickly controlled; and
  • ensure your insurance is up-to-date.


* SGIC home claims data 2007 -11.
 

For more information on how to make your home safer visit our www.sgic.com.au/keeping-safe-secure/home-safety/fire-safety-precaution.shtml.  

Media Contact:
Damien Butler
0411 014 688