Appeal to cut down Vic winter house fires

Victorians are being reminded they could risk starting a house fire if they aren't careful when they perform simple, daily tasks, such as cooking or turning on the heater.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade is appealing to people to be careful after it responded to 383 residential house fires last winter, all of which could have been prevented.

The most common causes were cooking (41 per cent), electrical mishaps (17 per cent) and heating systems (12 per cent).

People should always be watching their pots and pans when they are cooking, and keep tea towels and other items away from open flames, the MFB has stressed.

They are also advised to maintain household items such as electric blankets and heaters, and avoid charging smartphones and other devices on soft surfaces.