Tips to stay safe and warm this winter

A young girl sitting on the couch by the portable heater. It is important to be cautious while staying warm this winter.

As we prepare for another Canberra winter, it is important to take care when using heat sources to stay warm.

Here are a few tips to ensure you stay safe and warm this winter.

Electric Blankets 

We all enjoy snuggling in a warm bed, but electric blankets can be a potential fire hazard if not used and stored correctly. When using your electric blanket make sure you turn it on half an hour before going to bed and then turn it off when getting into bed. Don't leave your electric blanket turned on during the day, because items like clothes, pets, or bedding on top of the blanket can cause overheating and fires.

If you remove your electric blanket during the summer months, make sure that it is stored correctly. Electric blankets should be rolled not folded. Get more information on electric blankets.

Kitchen Fire Dangers 

Winter is a fantastic time to pull out the crock-pot and the slow cooker – but it is important that you keep an eye on your cooking and don't leave it unattended. Keep stoves, ovens and exhaust fans free of grease and fat build-up, and ensure tea towels are kept away from the stove.

If a pan does catch fire, place a lid on it and do not pick it up and carry it. It is also important to have a fire blanket and extinguisher (e.g. CO2 or dry powder) in the kitchen. Get more information on kitchen fire safety.

Heaters

Heaters are a great way to stay warm in the winter, but ensure that it is installed correctly and regularly maintained and children and pets who may be playing nearby are supervised.

Your heater should also be a safe distance (one metre) from clothes, bedding furniture, curtains and other similar items. Get more information on heater safety.

Candles 

Make sure that when lighting your candles, they are placed one metre away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpet and other flammable items. Use a proper candleholder that is heat resistant, sturdy and large enough to hold dripping wax, and always extinguish the candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.

If you are using matches or lighters, make sure they are placed out of the reach of children. Get more information on using candles.

Open Fires 

Using wood heaters to stay warm is a great way to save money in the colder weather. It is important to remember to use a fire screen in front of open fires and clean out your flues and chimneys once a year. For more information visit esa.act.gov.au.