Surging summer temperatures spark a significant rise in suburban home fires, according to RAA Insurance claims data.
The number of home fire claims in summer is more than double the number of claims made in winter, RAA Insurance records since 2016 revealed.
RAA Senior Claims Manager Hayley Cain said – excluding bushfires – there had been 320 home fire claims in the summer months compared to 148 claims in winter during that period.
“Almost nine in ten (87%) of those summer house fires were caused by malfunctioning air conditioners,’’ she warned.
“Many homes now have some form of air-conditioning, which not only provides relief from hot weather but can also be an essential device for protecting the elderly and young from heat stress.
“However, the use of electrical cooling equipment carries the same fire risk as other electrical equipment.’’
Ms Cain said cooling equipment, such as air conditioners, evaporative coolers and fans, can be dangerous if not properly maintained.
“The equipment can overheat if used continuously for long periods during heatwaves and cause a fire,’’ she said.
Ms Cain urged homeowners to follow the advice of the Metropolitan Fire Service to reduce the potential for fire in the following ways: