Icicles hang from a barbed wire fence at Warren Marr's lucerne farm near Clermont.
Icicles hang from a barbed wire fence at Warren Marr's lucerne farm near Clermont. Warren Marr

Stay safe around electricity this winter

TEMPERATURES are forecast to plummet over the next few days and Ergon Energy is urging customers to put electrical safety first.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a cold snap lasting several days which will see night and morning temperatures drop across the CQ region and particularly in the Central West.

And as a result, people will invariably turn to heaters and electric blankets to stay warm Customer Delivery Manager Pioneer Chester Brodie said.

"However these appliances spend much of their lives in storage and electric blankets especially can be easily damaged," he said.

"Always store electric blankets flat and check carefully before use. If there are signs of misuse or damage, have them checked by a licensed electrical contractor.

Mr Brodie said it's important to keep a safe distance around heaters, especially those with naked flames or exposed heat coils like radiators.

"Clothes, especially synthetic materials, can catch fire if placed too close to electric heaters. We urge people to also be careful in placing bar heaters on or near any combustible materials, such as curtains, carpets, clothing and even children's toys. So it's important to always follow the manufacturers' instructions when using a heater

Mr Brodie said avoiding an electrical accident was a simple matter of following basic safety procedures, such as:

  • Don't touch anything electrical with wet hands.
  • Don't use electrical appliances such as hair dryers around wet places, like baths or basins containing water.
  • Use only bathroom heaters specially designed for bathroom use.
  • Check all appliances which have not been used for some time, particularly electric blankets. Exposed elements, perished, stiff or damaged connections on the flexible cord or plug top and any other visual defects should be inspected by licensed electricians before use.
  • Don't overload circuits with too many heating appliances. This can cause damage to wiring, plugs and electrical circuitry.
  • Don't pile items such as suitcases or piles of clothes on beds with electric blankets switched on. Trapped heat in such circumstances can cause fires. 

More electrical safety information can be found at Ergon's web site: https://www.ergon.com.au/network/safety/home-safety/inside-the-home



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