Check heaters before using
WITH temperatures starting to drop, Gympie Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to put safety first when firing up the heater. Firefighters said too many fires started each winter from heaters and other electrical goods being misused or not properly maintained.
Many heater-related incidents happen when they are placed too close to flammable materials such as blankets, mattresses, pillows or clothing. During the winter months in 2011, heating systems were blamed for starting nearly 40 house fires in Queensland, more than half the number of total fires for the year.
Gympie Fire and Rescue station officer Grant Nelson said older-style heaters were more cause for concern, whereas new heaters had the added benefit of additional safety features.
He said regardless of the age of the appliance, whether it be a heater or an electric blanket, it was crucial it was regularly checked for fraying or exposed cords or rust.
He recommended the checks were done by a qualified electrician. Parents were also warned of the potential dangers associated with children's clothing, especially nightwear and to keep children at least a metre away from any heater.
QFRS offers a free home fire safety visit. Phone 137 468 to book your Safehome visit.
FIRE SAFETY TIPS
- Store flammable liquids in purpose-designed containers.
- Regularly clean the lint filter of your clothes dryer.
- Don't exceed manufacturer's recommended use-by date for electric blankets.
- Don't overload power points.
- Never leave cooking or any other open flame unattended.
- Never smoke in bed and take extra care if consuming alcohol while smoking.
- Keep emergency numbers visible and teach all members of the family how to call for help and escape fire.