Friday, July 29th, 2011

In the past five years, RACV Insurance data shows there were over a thousand member claims resulting from kitchen fires, representing 30 per cent of total fire claims received (excluding bushfires).

Terry Hayes, Executive Manager CFA Community Safety, said that fire agencies responded to more than 1200 house fires last winter with almost one third starting in the kitchen.

“Many of these kitchen fires were the result of cooking being left unattended. Another recent trend we’ve seen is people drying their clothes too close to the heater. Like most house fires, these incidents can be prevented through vigilance,” he said.

This also matches up with claims data which shows that household appliances and electrical faults are the next major causes of house fires.

Paul Northey, General Manager of RACV Insurance stressed that householders need to be even more careful during the colder weather, as heating appliances and fireplaces significantly increase the risk of fire in the home.

If you have been the victim of a fire, having insurance cover can help. Home Insurance protects your home against loss or damage by fire, flood, storm, theft and other similar causes.

For anyone renting or subletting a home or apartment they should think about getting renters insurance. Whether you live in a single family home, townhouse, studio or apartment, it's good to have renters insurance to protect your belongings and your liability.

Mr Northey also said that any poorly maintained electrical appliance is a potential fire hazard.

“Normal household appliances can all cause fires. Care needs to be taken to make sure they are in good working order and that electrical cords are not worn.”

RACV figures show that electrical appliances were involved in almost 13 per cent of fire claims, with microwaves, dishwashers and televisions identified as the major causes of fire.

MFB Manager Community Education Commander Frank Stockton said that Victorians needed to take responsibility for keeping fire out of their home this winter. “Most house fires can be prevented by putting in place some simple precautionary measures,” Commander Stockton said.

“For example, ensuring all heating appliances are installed by a professional, keeping washing that is drying at least a metre from any heating appliances and having a home fire escape plan are just a few simple ways to keep families safe this winter.”

“If a fire starts, having a working smoke alarm, approved fire blanket or extinguisher, and a well practised fire plan are all important safety measures,” added Commander Stockton.

Most common causes of house fires, *according to RACV claims data.

  • Kitchen – cooking – 30%
  • Household appliances (eg microwaves, hairdryers, dishwashers, computers etc) – 13%
  • Incidents in the garage – 7%
  • Electrical fault (eg plugs, wiring etc) – 7%
  • Heaters – 4%
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    RACV Insurance

    --About The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV)--
    The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) is run to benefit members through high quality service, great value products and wide range of member benefits. RACV is committed to representing members' interests in areas such as road safety and mobility, through advocacy and sponsorship of community programs.
    It also offers a range of insurance policies from car insurance and home insurance to travel insurance, with member benefits that include discounts and savings.
    RACV Insurance
    P: 1300 727 542


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