Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PEAK STRATA BODY FOR $1 TRILLION SECTOR URGENT WINTER WARNING WITH FIRE RISKS SPIKING FROM HEATING D

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Sunday 30 June, 2019

Attention Victorian Media

PEAK STRATA BODY ISSUES WINTER WARNING WITH FIRE RISKS SPIKING FROM HEATING DEVICES

PROPERTY OWNERS CALLED ON TO PLAY A ROLE IN FIRE SAFETY

With concern still strong about flammable cladding, unit and apartment owners throughout Victoria are being urged to do a winter fire safety check of electronic heating devices as Victoria moves into the cooler winter weather.

The peak body for Australia’s $1.2 trillion strata sector says owners and residents need to immediately review fire safety plans to ensure the safety of their communities.

Residential fires continue to spike in winter every year with the main causes; faulty heaters and electric blankets or heaters placed too close to flammable household products. Balcony BBQ’s also remain a problem.

Strata Community Association (SCA) is the peak industry body for Body Corporate and Community Title Management in Australia & New Zealand and Victorian President Peter Scott urges owners and residents to carry out regular maintenance checks on smoke alarm systems as a precaution to mitigate the risks from electronic heating devices and flammable cladding.

“It’s evident that fire departments around the country are taking the threat of electronic heating devices and flammable cladding very seriously, so we’re simply asking apartment owners to do the same.”

“A fire in a strata building has the potential to simultaneously put hundreds of lives and properties at risk, so proactive safety measures should be high on the to-do list.”

Mr Scott says flammable cladding is a complex issue to be managed by Australia’s lawmakers, but with London’s deadly Grenfell Tower blaze and Australia’s recent Neo200 Building fire in Melbourne being started by kitchen appliances and a cigarette respectively, doing the little things right can make all the difference.

Mr Scott says owners concerned about the potential fire risks from combustible cladding during the cooler weather, can reach some peace of mind by following a simple five-point winter safety checklist:

  1. Regularly test, replace and carry out maintenance on smoke alarm systems to ensure they are working
  2. Keep heaters at least 1 metre away from anything flammable and never leave unattended
  3. Check electric blankets for faults or frayed cords before placing on the bed and turn off while sleeping or when leaving the house
  4. Only use one appliance per power point and switch off when not in use, especially as heaters can overload the power supply which may lead to a fire
  5. Review and practice the fire safety escape plan for your building to ensure you are aware of all exit points

Mr Scott says, “You don’t need to be an expert to read a product safety guide on appliances and heating devices, so were hoping to see owners take risk out of the equation this winter.”

Strata Community Association (VIC) is urging owners in Victoria to consult with local fire departments if they have questions about how to ensure the safety of their fire safety alarms and electronic heating devices.

ENDS

About SCA (Vic)

SCA (Vic) is the peak industry body for Strata Title Management in Victoria. Supporting more than 80% of all owners corporation management firms, it is the only organisation solely focused upon representing this increasingly significant industry, and reaches and represents more than 700 owners corporation professionals who manage approximately 385,000 lots. It also represents industry suppliers and owners corporations, making it the voice of all with an interest in the management of owners corporations. Members benefit from representation, promotion, establishment of professional practice guidelines and ethical standards, and professional development through education seminars, conferences and regularly publishing bulletins on items of professional interest. Website: http://vic.strata.community

(ENDS)

Contact Details

Media Contact
Peter Scott
President
Strata Community Australia (VIC)
0407 565 636
03 9755 2816
pcscott@alphalink.com.au

Released by:
Sophie Barrington
Marketplace Communications
0432 972 215
sophie.barrington@teammarketplace.com.au

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