Staying fire free in the home this winter
DESPITE minimum temperatures plummeting across the region, very real fire dangers still exist for residents around the home.
Area 5 (Biloela Command) inspector Bruce Ogle said a common mistake people make is folding electric blankets when putting them away which can have serious consequences.
“Electric blankets are some of the worse things because when we put them away we fold them and they tend to fail in the fold marks and in the controller point,” Mr Ogle said.
“Dryers as well, people use them a lot more in winter and when they get their clothes out they fold them hot.
“You should let them cool down before you fold them because the radiant heat inside can self-combust some materials and fabrics.
“We also don’t want to be putting anything close to our heaters.”
Mr Ogle said that above all else people need to complete more regular checks and maintenance on a number of heavily used winter household items such as fireplaces and heat lamps.
“Make sure heat lamps and lights are clear of dust and in working order,” Mr Ogle said.
“With outside fires make sure it’s out before you leave and it’s not a raging fire.
“A lot of these fireplaces are triple burners so make sure the flue area inside is clean
“Maybe get someone in to clean the flue all the way down from the top to get rid of any bird nests from the summer months.
Mr Ogle also reminded residents not to burn green timber in the fireplace as it builds up a lot of ash in the flue.
Hot water bottles are also on the list of high-risk products, with Acting Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Stirling Hinchliffe saying each year more than 200 people in Australia are treated for serious burns from the item.
“Always use hot tap water and not boiling water to fill your hot water bottle and replace the item as soon as it starts to look cracked or worn,” he said.
“If using wheat bags or other heat packs, check that they come with clear heating instructions attached to the product and allow them to cool completely before reheating.
“If you notice a burning smell, you’ve probably overheated it so allow the wheat bag to cool down completely then dispose of it.”
You can find a full Winter Fire Safety Checklist on the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services website at www.qfes.qld.gov.au