Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : June 5th 2018 Contents PAGE 28 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2018
COOKING and electrical fires still cause the
most house fires across Victoria, the CFA’s lat-
est preventable fire statistics show.
In 2017, in CFA districts, there were 1588
preventable house fires, causing more than $42
million in damage.
Overall, preventable residential fires were
down 2.9 per cent in 2017.
Most preventable fires start in the kitchen,
followed by lounge rooms, bedrooms, chim-
neys and then garages.
The 2017 Preventable Fire Statistics dem-
onstrate that while CFA community education
efforts are having a profound effect, there is a
long way to go in reducing the amount of pre-
ventable fires in our community.
The number of fires starting in the kitchen is
down 8 per cent from 2016; however they still
make up more than a third (37 per cent) of in-
cidents. Cooking related fires are down 12 per
cent. Fires starting at stoves, ovens and cook-
tops led to 274 incidents.
Electrical fires are the largest cause of property
loss, causing an estimated $9.8 million in damage.
CFA Acting Chief Officer Garry Cook said that
while the drop in preventable fires was encour-
aging, home fire safety education and prepared-
ness remained a top priority for the CFA.
“Working smoke alarms save lives. This is
clearly demonstrated through the fact that
while there were more than 1500 preventable
house fires across the state, property loss was
far greater than the loss of life,” Acting Chief
Officer Cook said.
“Our message is clear. Check your smoke
alarm’s battery and if your smoke alarm is
aged 10 years or more the whole unit should
Acting Chief Officer Cook said the figures also
showed how the services of CFA were changing.
“Yes, we fight bushfires but we do so much
more. We are an urban firefighting authority
that operates throughout Victoria, including
across 60 per cent of metropolitan Melbourne.
“A 2.9 per cent drop in incidents in a calen-
dar year is a solid result, given the population
growth rate that has been concentrated in CFA’s
Acting Chief Officer Cook said education was
often an overlooked, but arguably the most im-
portant, aspect of what CFA does.
“The best way to stop a fire is to teach a per-
son how to be safe in the home and stop a fire
before it even begins. This includes reaching
out to our multi-cultural communities, making
sure regardless of whether you speak English
or not you are safe around fires.
“Whether we are educating people about not
drying clothes too close to the heater, never
leaving cooking unattended, or keeping lighters
away from children, it is all part of our ultimate
goal of protecting life and property.”
20 years of Probus
KORUMBURRA Probus president Les White presented three 20-year awards at a recent
meeting. From left, Marg Claney, Margaret Hams, George Hams and president Les White
who thanked them for their many years of service, and is looking forward to many more.
THE CFA presented several local volunteer
firefighters with service awards at the annual
dinner for members of the Koonwarra, Leon-
gatha South, Nerrena and Ruby fire brigades
The dinner was held at the Leongatha RSL on
Saturday, May 26 and 90 members, family and
friends were there.
The dinner brings together members and
their families outside of their normal volunteer
It also allows the CFA to thank the volunteers
for their service and their families who support
them and keep everything at home “running
Service awards were presented by Operations
Officer Graeme Symons from District 9.
These ranged from five years to 55 years of
service, and tallied up to 360 years.
A national medal was also presented to Dar-
ren Hardacre. This is part of the national hon-
ours award systems and is awarded to fire ser-
vice members for diligent service for a period
of 15 years.
To further celebrate this wonderful night,
there were raffle prizes donated by local busi-
nesses to further thank everyone in the room
for their efforts of the 12 months earlier.
THE Leongatha South and Kilcunda fire bri-
gades are among 11 in Gippsland to receive a
State Government grant in the first round of
the CFA’s Enhancing Volunteerism Grants Pro-
The Leongatha South brigade will collect
$28,500 for automatic panel lift motor room
door, while Kilcunda will receive $1000 for long
The grants are being provided to support vol-
unteer firefighters and brigades by:
• addressing immediate needs and enhancing
• improving culture, diversity and fairness.
• strengthening volunteer leadership skills.
• encouraging recruitment, retention and rec-
ognition of volunteers.
• reflecting the evolving needs and demo-
graphics of the communities that volunteer bri-
The total value of the program is $10 million,
with the remaining $4.84 million to be allocat-
ed in a second round of grants.
Applications for the second round are open
until the end of June.
For more information, visit cfa.vic.gov.au
Handy grants for brigades
THE CFA has been called to a number of fires
caused by phones overheating and catching fire
under pillows and are now trying to raise aware-
ness to the extremely common occurrence.
Everyone needs to be aware of dangers of
charging their smart phones under their pil-
lows while they sleep.
There has been an increase in the number of
fires that have started by phones in beds, under
pillows and blankets due to people not being
aware of the risks.
It’s only a matter of time, the worst may hap-
pen; and someone may lose their life.
Mobile phones should always be on a hard sur-
face with good airflow while charging and only
charged by the charger supplied with the phone
or a charger approved by the manufacturer.
The cheap charger you bought online could
end up costing you a lot more than the dollars
Remember, you can't smell smoke when
you're asleep and you should always have work-
ing smoke alarms in your home.
Greg Capple from the Nerrena brigade re-
ceived a 50-year service medal from CFA Op-
erations officer Graeme Symons.
CFA service recognised
Award recipients from the Ruby Fire Brigade, from left, Don Griggs (50 years’ service),
John Western (55 years), Darren Hardacre (National Medal), Andrew Ritchie (50 years) and
front left, Lisa Brady, five years.
Mick Campisi, left, from Nerrena Fire Brigade received his 30-year service award from CFA
Operations officer Graeme Symons.
Anthony Clemann from the Koonwarra Fire
Brigade was presented with a service award
for his 30 years.
Koonwarra Fire Brigade’s Dave Corrigan,
right, received a service medal for his five
Leongatha South Fire Brigade’s Gary Wil-
liams received a 35-year service medal from
CFA Operations officer Graeme Symons.
Despite being a genuine product, this
phone was left on the bed covers while charg-
ing – the phone overheated, and the entire
room became engulfed in flames. Luckily no-
body was in bed at the time.
Phones under pillows
can be a flaming disaster!
Cooking and electrical
fires still a problem
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