Media release

Brace yourself - summer is coming.

Fire and Rescue

Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Services is urging Centralians to brace themselves and get their evaporative air conditioning units serviced in the lead up to another long sweltering summer.

Leading Fire Fighter Matthew Jenkins said with the temperature set to sky rocket to 41 on Saturday in Alice Springs, it was time for residents to make sure they had, if not already, got their evaporative air conditioning unit serviced.

“As the temperature rises and people start using their evaporative coolers or using them for longer periods, it’s not uncommon to see more evaporative cooler caused fires in homes,” said LFF Jenkins

“Evaporative air conditioners are great, but just like your car they require regular maintenance and servicing to ensure they run well and they don’t put you at risk.”

“The safest thing to do before switching your cooling unit on is to get it serviced by a qualified refrigeration mechanic,” said LFF Jenkins

Air conditioning units and evaporative coolers are usually placed in the roof of a home. When a fire starts, it spreads quickly and most often occupants are unaware of the fire.

An evaporative cooler uses water that is pumped from a tank and run over cooling pads. Air passes through the cooling pads and cool fresh air is dispersed into the home or business.

“When getting your evaporative air conditioning unit serviced, be sure to specifically request the tradesperson checks the water pump – which works to cool the pads, the bearings, which can seize up after not being used for some months; and the motor – no motor means no cool breeze,” said LFF Jenkins

“And don’t leave your evaporative coolers on all day if you’re not home, turn them off. Unfortunately if a fire gets into the ceiling of a house there is very little fire crews can do to stop it.”

Residents should make a concerted effort to clear the area around each of these units. Make sure there is no debris, leaves or spider webs and no material left around the outdoor motor.

“But for everything else in regards to maintenance – get a qualified tradesperson to come and carry out an inspection and maintenance.

It could very well just safe your life.”

PFES Media