CITY of Canning experienced the highest number of house fires among Perth’s southern suburbs in the past financial year, with insurer RAC urging homeowners to do everything to reduce the risk.
Forty deliberately lit or accidental fires occurred in the City of Canning in the past year, up from nine the previous year.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services figures showed the number of house fires rose in each local government area bar Armadale, which fell by two, and Melville, which fell by 11.
RAC has seen a surge in the number of claims for serious house fires over the past four years, especially in winter and early spring.
RAC Insurance home claims manager Glen Walker observed nearly a 20 per cent increase in fire claims over the months of July, August and September between 2013 and 2016.
He urged people to reduce the risk at home.
“Flammable items being left too close to heaters, open fireplaces, candles, electric blankets and overloaded power boards are just some of the ways a house fire can start,” he said.
“Even dust build-up on power boards have sparked house fires here in WA.
“Recently we responded to a claim where an old electric blanket caught fire.
“Thankfully, the occupant was able escape the fire but there was still $130,000 damage caused to the home.”
He urged people to check smoke alarms are working and to unplug appliances when not in use.
Investing in a fire blanket or extinguisher can also help make the home safer, along with adequate insurance cover.
Local Government Area 2015-16 2016-17 TOTAL
South Perth 10 11 21
Victoria Park 9 30 39
Belmont 12 20 32
Canning 30 40 70
Gosnells 29 30 59
Armadale 32 30 62
Serpentine Jarrahdale 6 7 13
Fremantle 13 21 34
Cockburn 20 32 52
Melville 34 23 57