THE CFA are urging central Victorians to keep safe by checking and maintaining their fireplaces, chimneys, fireboxes and flutes.
In 2021, firefighters responded to 130 chimney fires, almost half of which occurred during the winter months.
CFA chief officer Jason Heffernan urged households to have chimneys professionally cleaned at least once a year to avoid the build-up of creosote - a highly flammable black tar-like residue.
"Spending a few minutes now to check your chimney could be one of the most important fire safety actions you take this season, and you can easily check for creosote build-up or obstructions by simply using a torch before lighting a fire," he said.
"Creosote is caused by general use but can also build up faster if you are using incorrect fuels such as green wood or treated timbers, so make sure you only burn dry, clean wood to reduce the risk of fire starting from a fireplace or wood heater."
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Mr Heffernan also called on people to extinguish their fire before going to bed or leaving the house, and reminded central Victorians to properly inspect and service their gas heaters to avoid a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
"The colder months are some of the riskiest times of the year for fires in the home, and most of these fires can be prevented," he said.
"Taking a few moments to check your heaters and fireplaces before winter sets in could mean the difference between life and death for your family.
"It's important to remember that no matter the season, having interconnected smoke alarms in all bedrooms and living areas can provide vital seconds to allow you and your family to escape in case of a fire."
Here are some recommendations from the CFA about how best to stay safe while using your chimney or gas heater:
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