In summer, the biggest fire danger is usually in open areas. But in winter, the biggest danger is inside the house.
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade says each year more people die and are injured in house fires than bushfires. Last year there were over 1,500 preventable house fires in Melbourne, resulting in the loss of three lives and causing $32 million property damage.
Nearly half of those fires started in the kitchen, 7% in the bedroom, 5% in the lounge room, and 3% in the laundry.
The Fire Brigade says all of them could have been prevented by caution. People are urged to note the following tips.
If you are drying clothes inside, keep them away from heaters.
Don't leave wood burners or heaters on when you leave the house or go to bed.
Check that all your appliances and electrical outlets are in good working order, with no frayed wires.
If your heaters were in storage through the warmer months, make sure they are free of dust and moisture before you use them.
Don’t plug too many things into electrical outlets.
Don't leave plugs in sockets when you're not using them.
Check the batteries of your smoke alarms regularly.
Have an emergency plan, and make sure the whole family knows the emergency numbers in case something goes wrong.
Never leave candles alone or near anything flammable, like curtains or bed clothes.
For more information and winter safety tips, visit the Metropolitan Fire Brigade website at