A SPATE of fires this year has led the CFA to warn Victorians about the dangers of not regularly servicing their air conditioners and evaporative cooling units.
The CFA has seen a recent spike in fires caused by cooling units, with 21 incidents since the start of 2019.
With temperatures rising last week, firefighters have asked the community to check when they last serviced their air-con units and evaporative coolers to prevent possible fires.
CFA state fire investigation co-ordinator Nicole Harvey said it was natural for people to want to use cooling systems when it was hot, but they could be putting their life and their loved ones at risk.
“You need to maintain your air conditioners and evaporative coolers by ensuring the units are regularly serviced according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
“We simply want you to cool your home safely so our firefighters don’t have to pay you a visit.”
On January 14, a Rowville house was extensively damaged after a fire, which was caused by an evaporative cooler, rapidly spread through the top storey of the brick home.
The family escaped the house uninjured but the roof and the top storey of the house was completely destroyed by fire.
“If this incident had occurred in the middle of the night while the occupants were asleep, we could have been investigating a far more devastating and potentially deadly outcome,” Ms Harvey said.
“Fires like these can be prevented with some simple maintenance and servicing.
“We need the community to understand the risk and help us protect lives and property.”
CFA also urges Victorians to check the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s product safety recall website to
determine if their cooling unit has been recalled due to the risk of fire.
“People with air conditioner / evaporative cooler units that have been recalled due to being identified as posing a potential fire need to act immediately if they haven’t done so already,” Ms Harvey said.
“Community members cooling their homes with these types of units should make sure they check the latest Product Safety Recalls online to ensure their system is safe.”
To check all recalls, head to productsafety.gov.au/recalls.