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MFB leading the way in community safety

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06 Dec 2016
An investigation by MFB has led to an important safety campaign to prevent commercial kitchen fires.

Firefighters from Eastern Hill and Carlton fire stations attended a kitchen fire at a noodle bar in Bourke Street, Melbourne on 21 November.

Crews extinguishing the fire noticed it had spread into the wall cavity and an investigation by specialist fire investigators was launched.

They discovered the fire was caused by a waterless pot steamer designed to be used in restaurants and takeaway shops.

They also established that the appliance itself was brand new and in working order but had been installed in direct contact with the wall, triggering a heat build-up which caused the fire.

Concerned that other kitchens could be at risk, MFB is working with Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) to implement safety procedures to prevent future fires.

ESV is notifying all licensed gasfitters in Victoria via a Gas Safety Alert of the specific requirements when installing similar appliances and will continue to conduct inspections of all new and modified gas installations in commercial kitchens.

Commander Tim Landells, who heads up MFB’s Fire Investigation and Analysis team, said the incident was a great example of the complex and varied work undertaken by modern firefighters.

“A firefighter’s work doesn’t end when the fire is put out,” he said.

“A big part of our job is preventing and learning from emergencies.

“And in many ways, we measure our success by the incidents that don’t happen.”


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