House fires spike in colder weather


The data reveals house fires are significantly more common between July to September, with most non-bushfire insurance claims made within this time. Figures show that in the past two years, non-bushfire claims have averaged 100 in this quarter compared to 79 on average for each of the other quarters.


RAA Insurance spokesman Shaun Ryan says home fires are not only life-threatening but can also cause significant property damage worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“Our data shows the main cause of house fire claims are accidents (34%) which often involve mishaps in the kitchen, such as unattended cooking catching fire,’’ Mr Ryan says. “Malfunctioning electrical appliances account for 1 in 5 home fire claims and 5% are a result of heaters and open fire places,” he adds.

  Latest figures from the Metropolitan and Country Fire Services show firefighters have battled 826 cooking-related fires during the past three years. In June, the MFS put a call out for South Australians to “keep looking when cooking’’. Check out their tips below on how to prevent house fires.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket in the kitchen.
  • Never leave the kitchen when you’re cooking.
  • Don’t put combustible materials, such as tea towels and oven mitts, on or near the cook top.
  • Never try to move a pan that has caught on fire.
  • Never throw water onto an oil fire.
  • Always call the MFS or CFS, even if you’ve managed to put the fire out.