Commissioner's Blog: Stay safe this winter
With Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard
Winter is here and the colder temperatures mean products designed to keep us warm are coming out of storage or being purchased. We want you to carefully check electric blankets, hot water bottles and other winter items are in good condition and have not been recalled before you use them.
To find out whether an item is on the recall list you should review www.recalls.gov.au. If an item you own has been recalled, stop using it and return it for a refund or remedy.
Product safety during winter isn't just about correct storage and use of products. Items can become unsafe when used together, or with other products.
Multiple children are admitted to hospital every year with burns from their clothing catching fire. Kids’ clothing and nightwear with a ‘low fire danger’ label is still flammable, so always keep children away from open heat sources, like fireplaces and heaters.
Each year more than 200 people are treated for serious burns from using hot water bottles. Fill your water bottle from the hot tap and do NOT us boiling water. Replace a hot water bottle as soon as it starts to look cracked or worn.
50 people across Australia die from house fires every year and many more are injured but a working smoke alarm reduces the risk. Know what type of smoke alarm you have – see if it has batteries that need replacing and if it does replace them every year. Regardless of the type of smoke alarm, you should test it every month.
Our tips for winter safety are at www.productsafety.gov.au/wellwinter. They include:
- Only buy wheat bags or heat packs that come with clear heating instructions. Overheating a wheat bag can cause the bag to ignite and start a fire.
- Extinguish candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep and keep candles away from combustible material like curtains, bedding and clothing.
- Open windows and doors each day for ventilation to reduce the growth of mould.
- Ensure insulation is correctly installed – keep foil products away from electrical power outlets or lights. Be careful not to move insulation when doing home repairs.
And you can follow the campaign on social media using by searching the hashtag: #wellwinter.
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