STOVES have been identified as the cause of a number of house fires in the city and environs over the Christmas period.
A spokesman for the fire service said there was an increase in domestic house fires during the cold snap and in particular roof fires caused in a number of incidents by stoves.
Scented candles a concern
Also, scented candles may leave a nice smell around a house but they have been responsible for a number of fires over the last number of weeks, some of which could have had extremely serious consequences. In two incidents the aromatic whiff was replaced by clouds of smoke as two families managed to exit their homes thanks to the presence of smoke detectors. If they had not been detected early, lives could have been lost.
Station officer at Kilkenny fire station, Walter Wallace said that in both incidents the smoke alarms gave the occupants that little bit of extra time to get out. "People are under the misapprehension that the bathroom is the safest place in the house but if you leave candles unattended, in potentially dangerous places, the threat of a fire is a real one," he said.
Recently, a candle was left under a cupboard on a kitchen worktop and burned through the underside of the cupboard and exploded a number of cleaning agents within aerosol canisters which in turn blew out the windows in the room.
Television on fire
In another incident, a scented candle was left on top of a television set and burned through the television setting fire to the sitting room.
He advised people to buy smoke alarms or to make sure existing detectors had batteries and were working properly. "These devices won't stop a fire but they will give you an early warning and a chance to get out on time," he said.