If you’ve rummaged through the back of the cupboard and pulled out products you used last winter, you need to check they are still safe to use.
Product Safety Australia provided the following tips to stay safe this winter.
Hot water bottles
Hot water bottles are manufactured from rubber or PVC and can deteriorate with age. Each year, 200 people in Australia are treated for serious burns from using hot water bottles.
- Don’t overfill or use boiling water in your hot water bottle - use hot tap water.
- Once filled, avoid direct contact with your skin - use a fitted cover or wrap the bottle before use.
- Never leave on one body part for more than 20 minutes.
Electric blanket should be rolled to store and at the start of winter check all the cords, elements and fabric before use. Damaged or faulty electric blankets can cause an electric shock or fire hazard.
- Don’t sleep with your electric blanket on - warm the bed and then turn it off.
- Never place heavy items on your bed when the electric blanket is on.
- Seek advice about using an electric blanket if you have diabetes or are pregnant.
The organic fillings inside wheat packs can dry out and become more combustible with age.
- Do not heat and place the wheat pack on or in bedding. Blankets trap the product’s heat and may cause it to ignite.
- Allow the wheat pack to cool completely each time before reheating.
A working smoke alarm reduces your chance of dying in a house fire by half.
- Test your smoke alarm is working every month.
- Replace your alarm battery every year and the alarm every 10 years.
Always ensure the wick ember of your candle is no longer glowing prior to leaving a room or before going to sleep.
- Store matches and lighters out of reach of children, and never children alone with any open flame.
- Keep lit candles away from curtains, bedding and clothing.
Make sure there are no exposed wires or loose connections on your heater before winter. Only use one appliance per power point and switch each off when not in use.
- Never use a gas heater or BBQ made for outdoor use inside your home.
- Always supervise children and pets when heaters are in use.
- Keep heaters a minimum of one metre away from clothes, bedding and furniture.
More details productsafety.gov.au.