Keep everyone safe and warm this winter

Published: 
16 Jun 2010

Fire officers extinguished the blaze of highly flammable children’s nightwear at the Safehome Fire Education Centre in Petrie, as Fair Trading Minister Peter Lawlor reminded parents to put safety first when keeping the family warm.

"The winter chill has set in and people are keeping warm with blankets, heaters, fires, hot water bottles, and pyjamas," Mr Lawlor said.

"But people should be aware at this time of year there can be a greater risk of scalds and burns."

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service responded to 542 house fires during June, July and August in 2009 and research shows house fires are more common in winter.

Mr Lawlor said today’s demonstration showed just how quickly material can catch alight.

"Some clothing styles and fabrics are more flammable and dangerous than others; however all fabrics will burn so children should be kept away from heaters and fires at all costs," he said.

"It is the very reason why the law requires clothing manufacturers and retailers to clearly label the level of fire risk on all nightwear and some daywear garments."

Under the Australian Standards, labels must be included on pyjamas, night dresses, dressing gowns, bathrobes, infant sleeping bags and some loose-style boxer shorts.

These labels must carry one of two warnings – LOW FIRE DANGER or WARNING HIGH FIRE DANGER KEEP AWAY FROM FIRE.

The low fire danger label, featuring black text on a white background, covers garments made from low fire danger fabric and garments that are styled to reduce fire danger.

The high fire danger warning features a flame symbol printed in black on a red label and covers garments made from materials known to be a high fire danger and long flowing styles of nightwear.

Member for Kallangur Mary-Anne O’Neill encouraged parents to choose low risk children’s nightwear, including close fitting garments and items with a low fire danger label.

She added there were other practical steps parents could take with the use of products in winter including:

• installing guards around heaters, fires and stove tops
• never heating water bottles with boiling water or water hotter than 50 degrees Celsius and checking the rubber hasn’t perished
• always supervising children around heating areas
• checking the condition of heating appliances such as heaters and electric blankets before use (including electrical plugs and cords)
• switching off products when not in use.

"No amount of safety labels or precautions can do a better job than adult supervision," she said.

"I urge all Queenslanders to watch their children closely whenever a heater or open fire place is being used."

For more information on product safety and labelling standards for children’s clothing, contact the Office of Fair Trading on 13 13 04 or visit www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au.

Contact details

Media contact: Minister’s Office 3225 1005