Heat related injury risk spikes as mercury plummets
Chilly consumers are urged to be aware of the dangers that come with staying warm this winter, including flammable pyjamas, illegal heaters, gas poisoning and burns.
NSW Fair Trading commissioner Rose Webb said that while there are dangers that come with beating the winter chill, awareness would help NSW consumers stay safe and warm.
“Over the years we have seen quite a range of unfortunate accidents surrounding heaters in winter and the NSW Government is eager to warn consumers of these dangers so they can stay safe in their homes,” Ms Webb said.
“Flammable children’s pyjamas remain a huge concern so always check clothes when purchasing them for labels that indicate they are a low fire hazard, but even then, keep children away from open heat sources, even heaters.
“Indoor portable heaters, otherwise known as cabinet heaters, have been banned in NSW for more than a decade but continue to be sold second-hand and online. These heaters function with an LPG gas bottle and have exploded in family homes. I don’t need to tell you what the risks of an exploding gas bottle are. It’s not worth the risk – do not buy one of these heaters.
“Using outdoor heaters inside or using unconventional heating indoors also poses a huge risk, such as carbon monoxide poisoning and can cause death.
“In 2019 there was a family at Cabramatta, including an 18-month-old baby, who almost died because they were using barbecue heat beads to stay warm inside.
“Make sure you are absolutely certain that the method you are using to keep warm is safe, not only for you but your family and your neighbours too.”
Ms Webb also warned of further dangers including hot water bottles, heat packs, electric blankets, older heaters and warming clothes or linen on heaters.
House fires remain a huge risk in winter, with 30 per cent of all residential fires in NSW occurring in the winter months, so all households are urged to check their smoke alarms are installed and functional.
For information on how to safely buy an electric heater go to the Fair Trading website.