With cold weather on the way, firefighters are warning people to check the safety of old electric blankets and heaters.
With cold weather on the way, firefighters are warning people to check the safety of old electric blankets and heaters. Linden Morris

Fire safety is key in winter

FRASER COAST firefighters are urging people to be fire safe in the colder months, by checking their old electrical appliances in the lead-up to winter.

Old electric blankets, heaters, dryers and fireplaces could be unexpected fire hazards in winter, according to Maryborough QFRS station officer Shaun Murphy.

"In winter people bring out old electronic heaters and bedwarmers that haven't been used since last year," officer Murphy said.

"Sometimes these devices can be damaged during storage or become overused.

"So it is important that people give them a thorough check before plugging them into the wall."

Recent research completed by RACQ Insurance found faulty electrical appliances were a major cause of house fires across the state, with a large percentage of fires occurring from May through to August.

Mr Murphy said home-owners should be on the look out for frayed or unattached electrical wires, as well as debris and clutter near fire places.

"It's important that people remember to remove excess lint from their dryers as well," officer Murphy said.

"Winter fire safety is about common sense more than anything."

RACQ Insurance executive communications manager Mike Sopinski said checking your equipment before winter was the best way to keep your home safe.

"Before switching your heater on, you should always check for blocked filters or damaged chords," he said.

"People should also be wary when buying second-hand electrical appliances as well."

 

WINTER SAFETY TIPS

  • Don't overload powerpoints
  • Never attempt to fix or service electrical equipment yourself
  • Never use appliances with frayed or damaged electrical cords
  • Clean filters on air conditioners and dryers regularly
  • Unplug appliances that are not in use


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