As the temperature drops here in Victoria, it is important to check the safety of products designed to keep us warm - like heaters, electric blankets, hot water bottles and heat packs - before you use them.
With many people staying home, make sure you know how to check if your warmers are safe to use for another season, and how to use them safely.
Electric blankets, hot water bottles, heat (or wheat) packs and children’s sleepwear are just some of the regular winter items that can pose an injury risk.
Always follow user guides for products that can cause scalds, burns or fires.
Hot water bottles
More than 200 people in Australia are treated for serious burns caused by hot water bottles each year.
Always check for signs of wear and tear, including cracking, before you use your hot water bottle.
When filling your hot water bottle, use hot tap water, never boiling water.
Importantly, always put something such as a towel between you and your hot water bottle, and don’t keep it on one part of your body too long, to avoid burns. Never sleep with a hot water bottle in your bed. Use it to warm your bed, then remove it before you get in.
If using wheat bags or other heat packs, follow the product’s heating instructions and allow them cool completely before reheating.
If you notice a burning smell, you’ve probably over-heated it. Put the wheat bag on a non-flammable surface, such as your kitchen sink, and let it to cool completely before disposing of it.
Many people assume when children’s clothing or nightwear is marked ‘low fire danger’ it is not flammable. This is not necessarily the case.
‘Low fire danger’ ratings take several things into account, including how loose or closely fitted an item is, and therefore the risk of it coming in contact with heaters or fireplaces.
You should always keep children away from open sources of heat to prevent what can be devastating burn injuries.
Always check electric blankets for signs of wear and tear before use and turn them off before getting into bed.
If you are pregnant or have diabetes, you should check with your health practitioner before using an electric blanket.
For more information, visit Well Winter Safety Tips - Product Safety Australia. You can also check if a product has been recalled by visiting Recalls – Product Safety Australia.
Get more winter safety tips by following #WellWinter on Twitter and Facebook.