Fire risk from evaporative air conditioners

Published on Wednesday 27 December, 2017

Fire risk

Now the bushfire season is underway, the City of Gosnells is reminding residents of the risks associated with using evaporative air conditioners during a fire.

Evaporative air conditioners can catch fire if embers from a bushfire or a small backyard fire get into the unit.

Mayor Glenn Dewhurst said fires that started in an air conditioner could spread very quickly throughout the home, and it could be difficult for firefighters to extinguish a fire caused by embers in the roof space.

“Keeping an evaporative air conditioner safe from fire can help save a property,” Mayor Dewhurst said.

“If there is smoke nearby, home owners or occupiers should run the air conditioner to wet the filter pads.

“When smoke is above the home or ash starts to drop around the building, it’s important to switch the air conditioner off or, if possible, continue to run water over the filter with the fan turned off.

“If it’s not possible to run the water on its own, or if there is a power failure, it’s a good idea to use a garden hose to wet the air conditioner filter pads.”

Mayor Dewhurst said it was important to keep checking the air conditioner and the area around the home for spot fires from embers, until the danger has passed.

“Ember protection screens, available from air conditioner manufacturers, could also be installed to reduce the risk,” he said.

More information about minimising the risk to your home during a bushfire is available on the City’s website at or