Faulty appliances are a major cause of fires. Have appliances, like electric blankets, heaters, air conditioners and fans, checked regularly by a qualified tradesperson.
All electric blankets sold in Australia must comply with strict safety standards. Careless use can cause electric shock, fire, possibly even death. Most accidents are caused by misuse or by blankets which are worn and old and have not been checked regularly.
- Always read and follow the manufacturer instructions;
- Never use an electric blanket with a water bed;
- Leave blanket on the bed, never fold for storage as it may damage your blanket;
- Make sure your electric blanket is laid flat and tied firmly to the bed;
- Sleeping with your electric blanket on is extremely dangerous as the blanket can over heat from your body weight;
- Always switch it off your before going to bed or leaving the house;
- Placing heavy objects on your electric blanket can damage the wiring in the blanket and could cause a fire;
- Run your hand over the blanket periodically and if you suspect overheating, turn it off and have the blanket checked by an authorised repairer.
- Never place a baby on an electric blanket - they can dehydrate and get burns at fairly low temperatures.
Overloaded electrical circuits, faulty electrical equipment and misuse of electrical equipment are common causes of fire. The following fire safety tips are recommended.
- Never run extension cords under carpets or rugs. Localised heating may cause a short circuit that could result in fire.
- Replace any frayed or cracked extension cords.
- Repair or discard malfunctioning electrical appliances immediately.
- Replacement fuses must be of the correct load capacity for the circuit. A qualified electrician should identify the cause of repeatedly blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers.
- Install earth leakage circuit breakers to all power circuits for additional life safety protection.
- Turn power off at the power point for electrical equipment that does not require a power supply when not in use.
- Provide adequate ventilation around all electrical equipment to avoid excessive heat build up.
- Use all electrical equipment in accordance with the manufacturer instructions.