With temperatures around the State starting to drop, the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) is urging residents to put safety first when firing up the heater.
QFRS Assistant Commissioner North Coast Region John Watson said each winter, too many fires started from heaters and other electrical goods being misused or not properly maintained.
“Heater related incidents often happen because they are placed too close to flammable materials like blankets, mattresses, pillows or clothing,” Mr Watson said.
“In Queensland in 2011, heating systems were blamed for starting nearly 80 house fires, with more than half of these occurring in the winter months.”
Mr Watson said older style heaters were more cause for concern.
“New heaters have the added benefit of additional safety features where as older style heaters may not,” he said.
“Regardless of the age of the appliance, whether it be a heater or an electric blanket, it is crucial this equipment is regularly checked for fraying or exposed cords or rust.
“The QFRS recommends these checks are done by a qualified electrician.”
Mr Watson also warned parents to be aware of the potential dangers associated with children’s clothing, especially nightwear.
“Children’s clothing can be highly flammable so parents need to be taking the time to read labels on clothing and look for low fire danger labels,” he said.
“Parents need to be very mindful to keep children at least one metre away from any heater,” he said.
“It is also important for parents to educate children on the dangers of playing near heaters.”
The QFRS offers a free home fire safety visit.
To book your Safehome visit, call 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or visit www.fire.qld.gov.au