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Melbourne house fires down 16%

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02 Aug 2016
MFB pleased with a reduction in the number of preventable house fires.

Melburnians are heeding MFB’s advice, with a 16 per cent drop in preventable house fires compared to last winter.

In June and July MFB firefighters attended 211 preventable house fires, down from 253 for the same period last year.

Electrical faults (including appliances and distribution equipment such as plugs and power boards) remain the top cause of fires, accounting for 20 per cent of all fires, closely followed by unattended cooking, 17.5 per cent.

The damage bill associated with preventable house fires has also dropped, but the fires still caused $4.5 million damage in the past two months. In June and July 2015, the cost of damage caused by preventable house fires was $5.3 million.

Every year Victorian firefighters attend about 3,500 preventable house fires. The annual Safe Mistake Zone campaign aims to highlight the small mistakes people make around the house that can lead to preventable fires.

So far this winter has seen a dramatic increase of 35.6 per cent in web traffic compared to last year, with Melburnians eager to learn more about fire prevention tips to protect their home and family.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Rob Purcell said it was good to see the community taking responsibility for their own home fire safety.

“House fires happen all year round, not just in winter. It is up to everyone to ensure they have a working smoke alarm and a home escape plan,” Mr Purcell said.

“MFB is glad to see a reduction in the number of house fires so far this winter compared to last year, but reminds everyone to stay vigilant as there have already been fatalities this year caused by preventable house fires.

“Avoid electrical fires by ensuring all household appliances are kept in good working order and replace if damaged – if the cord is fraying, throw it out!”

LGA statistics are available upon request. 

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