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10 checks to keep you safe & warm this Winter

With Winter now upon us the nights are getting cooler and we start to feel the pinch of the cold air. Most of us are already wearing a jumper, so putting on another layer really isn’t going to cut it. Or perhaps we are worried that the cold air will wake the kids or it’s starting to make them cough of a night. So we think about getting out the electric heaters or electric blankets (mattress topper or throw blanket style). Before you do read this!

Did you know that almost half of all NSW fire fatalities occur in Winter? That’s pretty alarming.

When it comes to electrical heaters and blankets, there are a few things you can do to keep your family safe this Winter.

  1. Before you plug heaters or blankets in, make sure that there are no wires showing at the plug or appliance end of the power cord
  2. Check for frayed power cords
  3. Gently pull on the appliance end of the cord to check that it is securely attached to the unit.

If there are exposed, frayed, or loose wiring then your appliance could be unsafe and it is safest not to use it until it is replaced or repaired by a licensed service agency.

  1. Only plug one appliance into a power point or space on a power board. Don’t ‘piggy back’ double adaptors or power boards. Electric heaters & blankets put greater demand on your power.
  2. Make sure that you clean the fan grill on your blower heater or dust column heaters. A clean, while unplugged, with vacuum cleaner is a great way to do this. Dust can heat up causing fires.
  3. Heaters are best plugged directly into a power point. Running extension cords across rooms can cause trips and tip heaters over.

Now you are ready to safely use your electrical heater or blanket, there’s a few final things before you snuggle in for Winter.

  1. Ensure heaters have at least a metre of clear space (beds, lounges, curtains, towels, etc.) around them and don’t use column heaters to warm pyjamas or towels.
  2. Never leave electrical heaters unattended.
  3. Your safety switch is a safety net and should be checked yearly by a licensed electrician.
  4. Check your smoke detectors are working and less than 10 years old.

Now you’ve completed your check, it’s time to get comfortable, cosy, and settle in for warmer Winter evenings.

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