NRMA Insurance is urging home chefs to be fire safety aware and to pay attention to what's on the stove with its claims data showing one in three NSW house fires start in the kitchen*.
The insurer's claims data also showed that after kitchen fires, the most common cause of a house fire is sparked by an appliance including an air conditioning unit, microwave, dishwasher and dryer.
NRMA Insurance is reminding NSW households where blazes commonly start and how easily they can spread. NRMA Insurance spokesperson Tracy Woodley said kitchen fires had the potential to spread quickly, often jumping to curtains or cupboards in a matter of seconds.
"Kitchen fires commonly start from people leaving their cooking unattended so we want to urge all home chefs to keep their eyes on the stove at all times.
"When it comes to electrical appliances, people need to make sure they are in good working order, properly installed and the cords are regularly checked for fraying and damage which can spark," said Ms Woodley.
NSW households should also be careful not to overload their double adapters and power boards and ensure they are using good quality equipment to help avoid starting an electrical fire.
With a wide range of power boards and adapters available on the market it is recommended NSW households use equipment carrying Australian Standard 3105 Approval**.
To help prevent and safeguard your home and family, NRMA Insurance recommends households:
- stay in the kitchen while cooking is on the stove;
- call 000 immediately if a fire does break out that cannot be safely and quickly controlled.
- install a smoke alarm(s) and test monthly. If you have battery-operated alarms, change the batteries at least once a year;
- have an evacuation plan and make sure everyone in the house knows and practises it;
- keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket at hand near the kitchen;
- never use water to put out a cooking oil fire – water will only ignite the oil; and
- don’t key-lock deadlocks on doors when at home in case you need to leave in a hurry.
* NRMA Insurance home claims data 2009-13