Tips that could save your life this winter

AS electric blankets, hot water bottles and heaters are dusted off ready to use this winter, emergency services are warning users to do the safety checks to avoid fires and burns.

Following an electric blanket fire in Brisbane only a few weeks ago, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Hervey Bay station officer Neil Lesmond warned residents to test before use. 

"Make sure there are no cracks (in blankets) and safety checks are done," Officer Lesmond said. 

Residents in Brisbane woke to an electric blanket smouldering and dropped the blanket on the back patio where it later reunited and went up in flames. 

Officer Lesmond said heaters were another fire hazard in winter. 

"In the past we've had incidents where wet towels and clothes have been dried over heaters causing fires," he said. 

An example of the potentially dangerous heaters.
An example of the potentially dangerous heaters.


  • Do not use them with double adapters.
  • Do not sleep on top of them lay on top of them while they are running.
  • Never fold or bunch up the blankets while they are in use.
  • Before using a new blanket, lay it out and allow it to heat up fully. Check the entire blanket for hot spots to ensure it is not overheating in any area.
  • Do not allow infants or the elderly to use electric blankets.
  • Never use them on a water bed.
  • Do not place an electric blanket in a washer. Many manufacturers state this is safe, but it will increase the risk of damage to the electric system.

(tips from

This could be the result of a faulty electric blanket.
This could be the result of a faulty electric blanket. Bev Lacey

It is also vital to have working smoke alarms in your home. 

Topics:  fraser coast qfes

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