After months stuck at home, Canberrans probably know their houses pretty well, and that could help residents stay safe this winter.
The Emergency Service Agency and ACT Fire and Rescue launched the annual Winter Home Fire Safety Campaign on Tuesday, urging people to check their smoke alarms and electrical appliances were working correctly as cold weather sets in.
With many people working from home ACT Fire and Rescue chief officer Chris Zeitlhofer said residents would be better equipped to respond quickly and be aware of potential hazards.
"People are actually at home where their appliances are being used, and hopefully know what they are using and if something does happen in the home they can keep an eye on that and do something immediately," he said.
"Normally ... people may leave appliances unattended for a period of time and that's when you don't get that early notification by the residents in the home that something has occurred."
To prove the point, firefighters demonstrated how easily a lit candle and open window can lead to a blaze, engulfing a makeshift bedroom in less than three minutes. That scenario was to blame for two call outs for firefighters in the last month.
Chief officer Zeitlhofer said the most common causes of house fires were electric blankets being left on, unattended cooking or candles, multiple items plugged into power boards and appliances like clothes dryers left on while no one was home.
"We encourage residents to have a working smoke alarm and to have an awareness of their surroundings in their own homes," he said.
He said residents should regularly service electrical appliances, check smoke alarms and have a home evacuation plan in the event of an emergency.