MEA Warns Residents To Take Extra Precautions This Winter

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21 July 2014

Master Electricians Australia (MEA) has issued a warning to Bendigo residents to take extra precautions around fire safety this winter, after a man received burns to his face and hands during a blaze at Guildford.

On the same weekend, a young boy helped his family escape a house fire at South Morang.

MEA Victoria State Manager Simon Tengende said winter is the riskiest time of year for home fires.

“The hazards are far greater during the cooler months, as people rely more heavily on electrical appliances like electric blankets and heaters,” said Mr Tengende.

“It’s extremely important that people recognise just how deadly such appliances can be if they’re not in line with Australian standards, or aren’t used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

“Any item that’s damaged poses a serious fire risk and should be thrown away immediately, and a replacement sought. Make sure your family’s not at risk by cutting off the plug or bending the pins of a plug out of shape.

Mr Tengende said it’s also important to ensure safety switches are fitted on every circuit within the home.

“They cut the power in just milliseconds, which is faster than the critical phase of a heartbeat, and fast enough to stop electrocution or fires in the event of a faulty electrical item malfunctioning,” he said.

“A circuit breaker could be the difference between life and death, and will greatly reduce the risk of a house fire.”