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Stay warm, not burnt this winter

1 June 2017

With the first day of winter here, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is once again reminding Queenslanders of the potential safety risks associated with common winter warmers.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said each year in the cooler months, the OFT received reports of injuries, particularly burns, many of which could have been avoided.

“A couple of easy steps, such as checking electrical cords on heaters and electric blankets and buying a new hot water bottle every winter, could minimise the risk of burns or spontaneous fire,” Mr Bauer said.

“It’s always important to check whether products you haven’t used since last winter have since been recalled. All recalled products across Australia are listed on the Product Safety Australia website.

“In April and May this year, certain Moretti and Click oil column heaters sold in Bunnings were recalled, so anyone who owns these heaters with the batch numbers listed on the Product Safety Australia website should return them to the store for a refund.”

The OFT recommends the following winter safety tips:

  • Buy a new hot water bottle every winter and never use it directly on your skin – wrap in a towel or cover.
  • Check hot water bottles carefully for leaks or damage before using and never fill with boiling water.
  • Check electric products for any damage before using. If unsure, check with a professional or replace.
  • Always encourage children not to play with hot objects and teach them that matches are not toys.
  • Never leave open flames, such as fireplaces or candles, unattended.
  • Make sure children know not to get too close to the fireplace.
  • Check children’s sleepwear fits correctly and is marked with a low fire hazard label.
  • Heaters should only be used in a well-ventilated area. Never leave them on overnight or while sleeping.
  • Heaters should only be serviced by a professional.
  • Don’t take a hot water bottle to bed, or keep the electric blanket on overnight.
  • Never use a wheat bag in a confined space which can trap heat, such as under blankets or bedding.
  • Always keep steam vaporisers out of reach of young children who may be attracted to the rising steam, including reaching over the top to the steam spout.
  • Regularly test your smoke alarms.

More information on safe use of products this winter can be found at

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Last updated
17 January 2018
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