Rise in summer house fires prompts advice to be careful

14 February, 2024

Sweltering summer temperatures lead to an increase in suburban house fires, according to RAA Insurance data.

The data shows the number of insurance claims for house fire damage increase by 28 per cent in the summer months when compared to winter.

It’s prompted the warning from RAA Insurance to be extra careful with cooking appliances and electronic devices – two of the major causes of suburban house fires – during the warmer months.

RAA Insurance Chief Executive Tara Page said most house fires could be easily avoided by taking simple precautions.

“Fires can spread quickly and lead to a costly repair bill or worse,” Ms Page said.

“In warm weather like we’re experiencing now it’s vital to be vigilant and alert to the early signs of a potential fire in your house.

“RAA Insurance data shows many house fires are caused by accidents during cooking – such as stoves, BBQs or saucepans with hot oil being left on unattended.


“So we’re urging homeowners to be extra careful when they’re cooking, especially if there’s an open flame involved.”

Ms Page said another common house fire cause is electrical devices overheating, such as air conditioners malfunctioning or batteries catching alight.

“We know many air conditioners will also be working hard over the next few weeks, and poorly maintained cooling devices have an increased risk of overheating, which could lead to a blaze in your home,” Ms Page said.

“Don’t ever leave your aircon running unattended and book it in for a service if it’s been a while since your last one.

“When charging batteries or other electronic devices, make sure they are in a well-ventilated area, not in direct sun, and avoid charging them on a soft fabric such as your bed, which could prevent any heat from dissipating.

“And wherever possible, use the charger that came with the device you’re charging and avoid using cheaper, knock-off chargers.”

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