Electrical appliances spark warning for Burns Awareness Month

Wednesday, 29 June 2022 at 4:34 am

To mark Burns Awareness Month, Victorian firefighters have joined The Alfred to remind Victorians to make sure their electrical appliances are safe this winter.

Last year, CFA and FRV attended more than 1,500 electrical fires involving household equipment and appliances.

CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said Burns Awareness Month is a timely reminder to take extra precautions to prevent serious burns or devastating house fires.

“Electrical appliances including double adaptors, power boards and extension cords are a major cause of residential fires,” said CO Heffernan.

“Check you’re not overloading power boards. Don’t leave electrical appliances like hair straighteners and laptops on soft surfaces. And never leave electrical devices like your phone charging overnight.

“Also, ensure monitors, laptops, televisions and other equipment have good air flow around them and are not covered or in confined spaces, while outdoor electrical items like eBikes, eScooters, or hoverboards should be properly maintained.”

Alfred Health Burns Surgeon Dane Holden said each winter brings about a spike in presentations to the Victorian Adult Burns Service at The Alfred.

 "Each year we see a spate of preventable burns injuries caused by faulty products, or because people let their guard down," he said.

"Unfortunately, when products such as electric heaters malfunction, it can quickly lead to a house fire and catastrophic burns injuries.  

“These types of fires result in burns all over the body, which requires significant surgical intervention and long, painful rehabilitation periods. 

Fire Rescue Commissioner Ken Block said more than 70 per cent of fatal house fires start in bedrooms and living areas.

“These can be caused by a range of factors, including electrical appliances, and we are calling on all Victorian households to install smoke alarms in every bedroom, living area, and hallway,” said Commissioner Block.

“The school holidays are also an ideal time to test smoke alarms, and it only takes a few minutes to check if your smoke alarm is in working order.”

“We encourage you to do so – only working smoke alarms save lives.”