QLD: Safe use of household winter warmers
As another winter starts, the Office of Fair Trading is reminding Queenslanders tostay safe while using heaters, hot water bottles, electric blankets andchildren’s nightwear.
Fair Trading Acting Executive Director Tony Johnson said that as winter warmers were pulled from storage, they should be thoroughly checked to make sure they remained in working order and safe to use.
“Living in the Sunshine State, we often don’t use our heaters, hot water bottles and electric blankets, sometimes for years at a time, so with a cold snap right on our doorstep it’s timely to remind ourselves about their safe use,” Mr Johnson said.
“Hot water bottles should be checked to make sure the rubber or seal hasn’t degraded, and it’s a good idea to fill with cold water and roll them around in your hands to make sure there are no leaks.
“Never pour boiling water into a hot water bottle and only fill it with hot water from your tap. If the bottle is over two years old, it should be replaced. It is strongly recommended you don’t use hot water bottles to warm a child’s bed.
“Don’t use wheat filled heat bags to warm a bed – if they are overheated they can spontaneously ignite.
“Electric blankets, including the cord and switch, should be closely inspected before use to ensure there is no wear and tear, or discoloration which could indicate overheating.
“Check the cords on all your heating devices and if they are showing wear and tear, replace them.
“Never sleep with an electric blanket on, and ensure it is rolled or flat, not folded, when stored.
“Parents with young children should consider fitting guards around heaters, fire places and stoves, but as always, the best remedy is close adult supervision.
“Children’s nightwear must meet fire safety standards and have a label that displays its fire rating. Parents should look for garments labelled low fire danger, but remember that even low fire danger garments will still burn so parents need to stay alert.
“Only use outdoor heaters in well ventilated spaces. Carbon monoxide can build up in confined spaces and reach deadly levels.”
Check www.recalls.gov.au regularly to make sure any products you own have not been recalled. Various models of heaters, electric blankets and hot water bottles have all been recalled in the past.