With 32 structure fires occurring in North Queensland last festive season, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) and Ergon are urging people going away for the holidays to switch off unattended appliances before heading off.
According to Area Manager Kevin Lavender, the best way to ensure your property is as electrically safe as possible before going away is to switch off any electrical appliances before hitting the road.
“We’re asking all holidaymakers leaving their property for another destination to methodically walk around the home, identify appliances that don’t need to be active while they’re away and switch them off at the wall – not just with a remote,” he said.
“Appliances that are in standby mode are still consuming electricity and can potentially cause an electrical fault while people are away. Not only that, even in standby mode appliances are still costing money to run.
“If holidaymakers are heading away for an extended period, it’s also advisable to clean the fridge out and switch it off as well for safety reasons and there’s no point in paying for power you’re not there to enjoy.”
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services crews responded to approximately 300 residential fires state-wide last December and January - nearly a third of those were due to electrical failure.
QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said there were some simple steps Queenslanders could take to reduce the risk of house fires.
“If you are heading away for the holiday period, make sure you unplug electrical appliances from the wall to prevent electrical faults occurring,” Commissioner Leach said.
“It’s also important to make sure your smoke alarms are working as this will ensure people are alerted to the fire as soon as possible.
“If you see a fire, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.”