Wimmera house fire warning: CFA urges vigilance

File photo

File photo

THE Country Fire Authority has warned Wimmera people to be vigilant about house fires in winter after a series of blazes in Victoria.

CFA district 17 community education co-ordinator Jenny McGennisken said in the past six months alone there had been more fatal house fires in Victoria than in 2013.

She urged people to be wary of fire hazards in their homes.

"Tragically 10 people have lost their lives and many more have been injured in home fires this year," she said.

"We are extremely concerned about these figures, especially as the danger period - winter - is only just beginning."

Mrs McGennisken said there had been 56 residential fires in the Wimmera in the five months to the end of May.

She said the most common cause of house fires was leaving items unattended such as electrical appliances, candles or cooking.

She said there were simple steps people could take to avoid fires.

"These include making sure heaters are properly checked and maintained, chimneys are cleaned and power boards are not overloaded," she said.

"Ensure your home has a working smoke alarm, keep your clothing at least a metre away from heaters and never smoke in bed."

Mrs McGennisken said people should also make sure any appliances were in good working order.

"Don't forget to check on older relatives, neighbours or friends who might need help checking their smoke alarm or developing an escape plan," she said.

"The most important message this winter is to take action - it's simple and can save your life," she said.

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