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Intense firefighting. blaze. inferno. firefighter. Fire. Generic image.

WARNING: CQ town highest risk area for severe house fires

CENTRAL Queensland fire fighters have attended more than 27 structure fires across the region since May.

Nineteen of the structure fires were house or unit fires, including eight house fires in the Rockhampton Regional Council area alone.

Gladstone, Mackay, Central Highlands and Livingstone council areas have accounted for the remaining 11 residential structure fires.

QFES director regional operations, Central Region, Steve Smith says Rockhampton is the highest risk area outside of Logan for severe house fires since 2012.

“This is based on several factors including how long our crews have spent at an incident, how many crews responded and the number of house or unit fires that spread from rooms of origin,” he said.

“Given we have only recently passed the halfway mark of this winter, we want people to ensure they are doing everything they can to keep these sorts of incidents to as few as possible.”

The warning comes after a house was destroyed by fire on the outskirts of Rockhampton overnight.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Service is urging residents to ensure they have carried out fire safety checks around their homes to prevent more house fires this year.

Mr Smith said residents should regularly check the condition of electrical items to ensure the safety of themselves and their families.

“Fireplaces, heaters and electric blankets are often used when cold weather sets in which is why we see an increase in residential fires during winter,” he said.

“A common cause of house fires is faulty equipment, and overloading of power points and equipment.

“The condition of electrical items should be checked regularly for faults.

“Don’t put yourself of your family at risk, check all your appliances are safe to use before switching on.”

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Mr Smith said all electrical appliances should be switched off before leaving the house or going to bed, and open fire places should be fully extinguished.

Follow the following steps to prevent fires in the home:

– Check all electrical items for damage and do not use if damaged.

– Install an electrical safety switch and use only one appliance per power point.

– Regularly clean your oven, stovetop, rangehood, clothes dryer and airconditioner filters.

– Store matches and lighters in a service area away from high risk fire areas.

– Turn off your electric blanket at night.

– Do not use outdoor heating and cooking equipment inside your home.

For more information about winter home fire safety, visit the QFES website.