Thursday, June 20, 2024

Beware of batteries this winter

As winter sets in, the Tasmanian Government and Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) are urging all Tasmanians to take proactive steps to prevent house fires and protect what they value most.

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management, Felix Ellis, welcomed the launch of a statewide TFS advertising campaign to raise awareness of crucial home fire safety measures in time for the busy May to September period.

“We’re focusing on educating the public about common fire hazards and prevention strategies, including a special emphasis on the safe charging and storage of lithium-ion batteries – commonly found in electric vehicles, e-bikes, power tools, and many other devices – as they are a rising cause of house fires globally,” said Minister Ellis.

“Since 2019 we’ve seen five Li-on battery fires, with three of those resulting in property damage or even destruction, but thankfully no deaths or injuries.

“An important part of our 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania’s Future is to prioritise the essential services Tasmania needs, to help develop stronger communities, enhance our regions and keep our communities safer.”

On average, TFS responds to about 350 house fires each year. It says the most common causes of house fires remain cooking and heating, cigarettes and candles, and electrical issues – many of these preventable with simple precautions:

  • Keep flammable materials at least two metres away from heaters.
  • Create and regularly practice a home fire escape plan.
  • Ensure working smoke alarms are installed in all key areas of the home.
  • Have both a fire extinguisher and fire blanket in the home. This equipment can be effective at putting out small fires in their early stages.

For more information on fire safety, visit fire.tas.gov.au.

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