A surge in garage fires across the state has Victorian fire services encouraging residents to clean up their garage and consider installing smoke alarms inside.
Many of the reported garage fires in the last year were caused by faulty electrical equipment or related to fuel spills.
CFA Chief Officer, Jason Heffernan,said CFA firefighters have already responded to 26 garage fires this year compared to the 28 in total from last year.
“We’re expecting to see a rise in rechargeable battery and car fires this winter season,” he said.
A garage fire at a Mooroolbark home last month was a timely reminder about the importance of households inspecting their appliances, devices and vehicles regularly.
The Mooroolbark family escaped from their home after their refrigerator in their garage caught on fire due to an electrical fault that quickly enflamed the entire residence.
“The family could have been alerted sooner had an interconnected or long-life battery smoke alarm been installed in the garage and in the nearby hallway,” CO Heffernan said.
“It is essential that smoke alarms are installed in all areas containing electrical devices, as they have the potential to catch alight.” Fire Rescue Commissioner, Gavin Freeman, said the incident also calls for Victorians to check the condition of all electrical appliances in their garages.
“Inspect the condition of your electrical items and if you notice any damage, ensure they are repaired by a certified tradesperson,” he said.
“When it comes to items powered by lithium-ion batteries such as e-scooters and e-bikes, only use chargers and cords that were originally supplied with that device.
Using chargers with incorrect power delivery can cause damage or overheating that can lead to fires.
“Finally, keep all garages free of clutter, so that if an electrical item does catch alight the fire will be less likely to spread.”