Fire Safety Advice – Winter Fire Safety


Daylight saving has ended and it’s time to get your winter coat, electric blanket and heater from out of the cupboard. But just like summer, winter brings its own unique set of fire dangers.

Follow these fire-safety tips to help keep you and your family safe and warm.


Fireplaces & chimneys

  • Clean chimneys and flues before your first fire of the season.
  • Always use a fireguard or spark-guard with open fires.
  • Never throw rubbish into the fireplace
    – particularly batteries and aerosol cans.
  • Ashes can take up to five days to cool
    – always empty fireplace or wood burner ashes and ashtrays into a metal bin and pour water over them before disposal.
  • Before going to sleep, make sure your fireplace fire is out.



Electric blankets

  • If your electric blanket or cord is showing any signs of wear, have it checked by a competent service person or have it replaced. Don’t take the risk.
  • Always make sure that your electric blanket is switched off before getting into bed.
  • Never use pins or sharp objects to secure the electric blanket to the bed and never tuck it in under the bed.
  • If the blanket becomes soiled, sponge it lightly and allow to dry naturally on a flat surface. Do not dryclean or use a washing machine or spin dryer.
  • When putting your electric blanket away for summer, don’t fold it – roll it.



Heaters & clothes dryers

  • After kitchen fires, fires involving heating and drying are the next most common reason the Fire Service is called out.
  • Remember the heater-metre rule – always keep furniture, curtains, clothes and children at least one metre away from heaters and fireplaces.
  • Don’t store objects on top of your heating appliance.
  • Never cover heating appliances.
  • Don’t overload clothes dryers and clean the lint filter after each load cycle.



Portable LPG gas heaters

  • When using gas heaters please take a few moments to consider the following safety precautions – they may save a life.
  • Make sure the ceramic heater element is not broken or chipped and that the element guard is in place.
  • Check to see that the hose is in good condition and doesn’t show any signs of damage or wear.
  • If the heater does not light straight away, turn it off and then try again. Don’t let the gas build up before trying to relight it.
  • Always have fresh air coming into the room where a gas heater is in use.
  • Have your heater serviced every 12 months.


information courtesy of Fire and Emergency New Zealand

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