- Firefighters attended more than 400 home fires so far this year, including three-quarters caused by accidents
- Never leave cooking unattended, keep items one metre from the heater and practise your escape plan with your family
As Western Australia heads into a winter cold snap, Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis has launched the home fire safety campaign, WinterSafe, reminding families to stay safe and prevent fires from occurring in their home.
Firefighters attend at least two home fires on average each day, however new research conducted by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services shows 51 per cent of people say home fires are not a concern.
Top causes of accidental home fires include unattended cooking, as well as electrical equipment sparking and items left too close to heaters and fireplaces.
"There is definitely an 'it'll never happen to me' mentality with home fire safety, which means people can be under-prepared for what to do when an emergency occurs," Mr Francis said.
"As this cold weather continues, it is more critical than ever to be vigilant throughout the home to ensure tragedy doesn't hit your family.
"We know that almost half of West Australians leave cooking unattended - this can have devastating consequences.
"Always keep items at least one metre from the heater and have an escape plan that you have practised with your family so everyone knows what to do."
The Minister attended Murdoch Fire Station to discuss home fire safety with the firefighters who are called upon when flames are destroying a home.
"The firefighters are ready to respond across WA, however we wish that they didn't have to attend as many fires as they do," he said.
"Don't let the destruction of your home and belongings be the next job they have to deal with this winter."
- WA firefighters attended 401 house fires between January 1 and June 30, 2015, with 301 attributed to accidental causes
- New research shows 63% of young people leave their cooking unattended, with the figure at 44% for the rest of the population
- About 95% of people have smoke alarms and most of these are regularly tested, but 70% believe smoke alarms will help protect them, which is not the case
- For more information on home fire safety, visit http://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/WinterSAFE
Minister's office - 6552 6500
DFES Home Safety Research.pdf