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Snuggle safely this winter 

13 May 2015

As the weather cools down NSW Fair Trading is sharing winter safety tips to avoid accidents this winter.

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said that people should always follow manufacturer’s instructions for safe usage of any heating, cooking or gas appliance.

“If you haven’t used your heater for a while, make sure it is in good working order before switching it on,” said Mr Stowe.

“Ensure it is free of dust and there are no rusts spots which can cause ‘hot spots’.

“Bringing heaters in too close to bedding or curtains can cause fire, so be aware when using heaters in an enclosed space and ensure there is adequate ventilation.

“Never use outdoor heaters inside and be aware of ignition and flame areas.

“There are certain types of outdoor patio heaters that are not compliant with Australian safety standard as the ignition source is too close to the ground. Fair Trading recommends you do not use these type of column or pyramid heaters.

“Our website contains a wealth of knowledge on different types of heaters and gas safety, with pictures of non-compliant models.”

Mr Stowe said it is not just heaters that may spark concerns and consumers should also check electric blankets, hot water bottles and children’s pyjamas.

“If you’ve folded and stored your electric blanket over summer, make sure the cords aren’t frayed and don’t leave it switched on unattended,” he said.

“Ideally people should be buying a new hot water bottle every winter as leaks and cracking can occur as the bottles age. Never fill your hot water right to the top and use a towel to prevent direct contact between the bottle and your skin.

“Children’s pyjamas should be form-fitting and made of material labelled ‘low fire danger’. Avoid loose or trailing wear that could get caught in a heater or fire place.”

Mr Stowe encouraged consumers to visit the Fair Trading website or call on 13 32 20 for up-to-date safety information this winter.

Tips for safe heating:

  • Supervise children at all times around heat sources.
  • Keep combustible materials at least one metre away.
  • Never leave any heat sources unattended.
  • Check electric heaters are free from dust and have intact cords and plugs.
  • Have an appropriate fire extinguisher and working smoke alarm.

Media contact: 02 9962 9488 (24/7)

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