House fires are more common in the winter months.
House fires are more common in the winter months.

Stove fires can be a winter hazard

A WOMAN suffered burns to her hands in a kitchen fire at Boambee East this week.

The woman and her husband dialled 000 just after noon on Monday when food cooking on the stove in their Rankin Close villa caught alight.

The couple had tried to douse the flames with wet clothes and a garden hose and they waited outside for firefighters to arrive.

The blaze severely damaged the stove and the rangehood and filled the villa with smoke.

Paramedics treated the wife at the scene for her minor burns as Coffs Harbour and Sawtell fire crews extinguished the fire and ventilated the dwelling.

The incident is a reminder for Coffs Coast residents to be alert as we head into winter, traditionally the worst time of year for house fires.

“With the arrival of winter and colder weather, we all pull out heaters and electric blankets and spend more time in the kitchen cooking up hearty winter stews and soups,” said Coffs Harbour Fire Station officer Nat La Macchia.

Statewide in 2008, the most common causes of winter house fires were cooking left unattended and electrical blazes caused by heating appliances.

Mr La Macchia said householders should take the following steps to protect their families this winter: never leave cooking unattended on the stove or in the oven and supervise children at all times in the kitchen; keep a fire blanket and an extinguisher near the stove; check heaters, electric blankets and other winter appliances for any faults before switching them on; maintain a gap of no less than a metre between flammable objects and heat sources; ensure your chimney is in good working order, use a fireplace screen and make sure the flue is correctly installed; clean the lint filters in your clothes dryer after each use and never leave a dryer operating when you are out of the house.

For more details, contact Coffs Harbour Fire Station on 6651 6891.



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