ACCC winter safety tips prompted by product recalls

Published: 
24 Jul 2012

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today issued its top five winter product safety tips following recalls of popular products in the cold winter months.

“The ACCC has developed a range of tips to help people stay safe this winter. The safety tips have been prompted by recalls of products popular during winter, including heaters, electric blankets and hot water bottles,” said ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard.

“These are products that have been associated with serious injuries and even deaths over the years, which is why it’s so important people check their winter warmer hasn’t been recalled.

“For example, at least one Australian has died and many others have been seriously burned after using boiling water to fill their hot water bottle. It is safer to use warm but not boiling water to do this.

“And we all love our winter PJs but some winter fabrics can be highly flammable. Be particularly careful near open flames such as fire places and gas stoves; we know that people have received serious burn injuries after reaching across a gas cooktop and having their nightwear or dressing gown catch fire."

The top five winter safety tips are available on the ACCC dedicated winter safety page, www.productsafety.gov.au/wintersafe.

The ACCC is also strongly urging people to check the Recalls Australia website at www.recalls.gov.au to see if a product they are using has been recalled.

“Over the next few weeks, the ACCC will continue to tweet and share on Facebook a range of winter safety tips. We are also encouraging people to join in and share their own winter safety tips as a part of our WinterSafe campaign,” Ms Rickard said.

“To join the campaign and share tips about winter safety, use the #wintersafe hash tag on Twitter or you can share information via the ACCC Product Safety Facebook page”.

Top five winter product safety tips from the ACCC:

  • Never use boiling water to fill your hot water bottle, and replace it as soon as it starts to look cracked or worn.
  • Children’s clothing with a ‘low fire danger’ label is still flammable. Keep your children (and their clothes) away from open heat sources.
  • Be careful using luggage straps when packing for that winter trip: people have been blinded after a luggage strap has recoiled and hit them in the face.
  • Only use outdoor heaters and barbeques outdoors and in well ventilated spaces: carbon monoxide poisoning from these products has killed people.
  • Check the Recalls Australia website (www.recalls.gov.au) to make sure the products you’re using to stay warm, including your heater and electric blanket, haven’t been recalled. Better yet, download the Recalls Australia iphone or soon to be available Android app so you’re always able to quickly and easily check for recalled products.

For more information on product safety generally, visit www.productsafety.gov.au, call the ACCC Infocentre on 1300 302 502 or Product Safety at the ACCC on Twitter @ProductSafetyAU.

Contact details

Media inquiries

Ms Delia Rickard, (02) 6243 1108 or 0408 995 408

Mr Duncan Harrod, media, (02) 6243 1108 or 0408 995 408

General inquiries

Infocentre: 1300 302 502

Release # NR 149/12

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission