30 Jun 2013

Twenty die in 'avoidable' house fires

5:44 pm on 30 June 2013

The Fire Service says 20 people have died in avoidable house fires in the past year.

The most common reasons fires started were people cooking while they were intoxicated, faulty appliances, smoking in bed, and items kept too close to heaters.

Fire Service National Commander Paul Baxter says most of the deaths are people older than 50, who are impaired or intoxicated and live in rental or care housing.

He says 80% of the houses where people died did not have working smoke alarms.

Mr Baxter says caregivers and families of the impaired and the elderly should call the Fire Service for a home fire safety check.