Queensland Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie is urging Queenslanders to check electric blankets, heaters and hot water bottles ahead of the coming winter months.
Mr Bleijie warned that faulty or misused heaters and electric blankets could cause injuries, property damage and fires.
“Checking and using electric blankets and heaters properly is important as it can mean the difference between life and death for your family,” Mr Bleijie said.
“Any electric blanket or heater that is broken or damaged should be discarded or checked by an electrical professional before being used,” he said.
“It is important to check that the supply cord, plug and body of the heater and blankets are intact, and also to inspect heater grills to ensure there isn’t a dislodged element inside.
“Hot water bottles also have a short life-span and it is recommended bottles more than two years old are thrown away.
“These warnings might seem to be a matter of common sense, but they should not be taken lightly.
“Electrical risks can also be minimised by having a safety switch installed in your home and testing it regularly.
“Safety switches are lifesaving devices that cut off electricity supply when a current is detected leaking from faulty equipment or wiring.”
For more information about electrical or product safety visit www.justice.qld.gov.au or call the Electrical Safety Infoline on 1300 650 662 or Office of Fair Trading on 13 74 68.
Hot tips for electrical safety this winter
Have a safety switch installed.
Use caution when using heat lamps or bathroom fan/heater/light combinations – check units for signs of heat damage. Any signs of charring, burning or heat degradation mean they should not be used – replace or call an electrician.
Check all items for damage before use.
Never attempt to repair a damaged electrical item yourself.
Only clean your electric blanket and heater according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Ensure children, older people and those with an illness or disability are supervised when using an electric blanket or heater.
Ensure all electric blankets and heaters are switched off when not in use.
Do not place stacks of clothes or other items on a bed with an electric blanket as this can cause ‘hotspots’ which can cause a fire. The same goes for an electric heater.
Store blankets and heaters where they cannot be damaged by heavy objects or where the element wire cannot bend, crease or kink.
Queensland Media contact: Lisa O’Donnell – 0400 986 432
For information on product safety in Queensland visit www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au or www.productsafety.gov.au or phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68)
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