With the Winter season approaching fast, the need for heating appliances increases, and with it comes increasing risk of fires. Here are some tips and recommendations to stay safe and warm this winter.
The first step you should be taking is protecting against power surges for any electrical equipment that you own. All heating appliance leads should be carefully inspected and if found to be damaged, repaired if economical to do so otherwise the appliance should be replaced. Before using an electrical appliance, thoroughly check to ensure that it in good order with no missing or cracked parts. Cleaning and maintaining maintenance should be completed in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
As the risk for home fires increases in winter, it is good to be aware and follow some steps to protect yourself and minimise the hazard.
If you own a fireplace, ensure that the chimney is clean and not blocked. When being used, always place a screen in front of the fireplace to protect against any flames and falling coals & logs. Never place any material or rubbish such as plastic, foam, painted wood or anything that is highly flammable in or around the fireplace.
Electric blankets are a popular way to preheat a bed and keep warm. They are easy to use but care still needs to be exercised when using them. It is recommended that you turn them on for 30 minutes to heat the bed and turning them off before going to sleep. Blankets should never be folded when turned on and should be replaced if they have been in use for more than 10 years.
Should only be used as a temporary connection. Always check your extension cords for cuts, nicks & any burn marks or signs on melting on the plug & socket. Heating appliances are safest when connected directly to a power point. Don’t leave extension cords in areas where they may be a tripping hazards or close to a water source. If you are using an extension lead to plug a heating appliance into, relocate the appliance so it can plug directly into a power point or organise for a qualified electrician to install a power point where the heater is being used.
Heaters such as space heaters are very convenient and readily available, however they account for almost half of home heating fires. To stay safe keep clothing, curtains, bedding and toys, as well as anything flammable, at least one meter away from them. They should be placed on flat floors to keep them from falling on the ground or toppling over. Look for heaters that have the shut-off function if they are knocked over and regularly test for that. Don’t use heaters in rooms where children are unsupervised.
Make sure to turn heaters off after leaving the room and unplug them if they are not being used.
Smoke detectors are an effective way to safeguard your house against fires. “Smoke alarms must be installed in all buildings in NSW where people sleep”. (https://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/page.php?id=439). Ensure that they are working optimally and have been serviced. Change the battery each year and upgrade to Photoelectric models if you have an older model (as a minimum your smoke detector should be replaced every 10 years or as per manufacturers recommendations, whichever is less).
You should also have a fire safety plan and a fire extinguisher on hand.
Bathurst electrical can help keep you and your family safe all year round. We offer:
· Safety checks
· Installation of electrical appliances
· Switchboard upgrades
· Safety switch installation
· Installation of additional power points
· Installation of LED down lights
· Installation of Sensor / security lights
· and more!
Contact us today to find out more!