Emerald firies warn residents not to risk a winter blaze
EMERALD firefighters are hoping their phones won't be running hot as the weather remains cool, with residents switching on their winter appliances in an effort to keep warm.
Emerald Fire Station Officer Clive Weeks said it was a busy time for the local firies, but residents should be taking precautions to ensure they stayed safe this winter.
"It tends to be a bigger time for house fires because people tend to use appliances like heaters and electric blankets," SO Weeks said.
"The trouble with Emerald is it is not a big winter, so appliances tend to get put away in the cupboard for eight months of the year, and then we just drag them out and switch them on.
"But in those eight months, they gather dust and maintenance isn't up to standard. So if you are going to use appliances, you should get them checked by an electrician before you turn them on."
Another appliance that often gets dusted off during the winter months is the slow cooker.
SO Weeks assured residents that slow cookers weren't generally a fire hazard, but should also have their wires checked if they had been stored during the year.
"Slow cookers don't really generate enough heat - there isn't an open flame or source of fire," SO Weeks said.
"I think they are great this time of year."
SO Weeks said the top priority this winter was to ensure fire alarms were working properly.
"There have been fatalities in all four of the recent house fires in Queensland, which is quite a high number, so I think the importance of a smoke alarm can't be highlighted enough," he said.
"A working smoke alarm is the best, but if it is located in a place that goes off when you are cooking toast, then it is in the wrong position.
The local firies said to remember the words of Blazer the Fire Safety Koala.
"All those old things are still quite important - Get down low and go, go, go," he said.
"We talk to children about that, but adults should also adhere to those instructions - get down low where it is clear and go to your nearest exit."
Get appliances checked before use
Store electric blankets correctly
Devise and practise an evacuation plan