Power supply Energex is advising people who take heating appliances out of storage for use during winter to check them and use them safely.
Safety Advisor at the utility, Kevin Hore said winter heating appliances were often pushed to the back of cupboards or in garages for most of the year.
“Before being used they should be thoroughly checked over for damage or faults,” Mr Hore said.
“For the majority of us Queenslanders we’re lucky enough to have only a short period of really cold days which often means our heaters and electric blankets spend most of their lives pack away out of sight.”
He said the problem with this was that when they were in storage they could easily get knocked about by other items being stacked on or around them or even become damaged by rodents who loved to chew through electric cords.
“So, we’re asking people to take a close look at heating appliances for any obvious signs of damage before plugging them in and if any faults are found or they trip the house safety switch when you turn them on, they should be either repaired or thrown away,” Mr Hore said.
“Also, using heaters in the wrong place can create a serious safety risk, including potential electrical shocks and fires.”
He said that one of the biggest safety risks when setting up a heater was placing it too close to flammable items such as couches, curtains or beds.
“Be aware that any unattended heater could easily get knocked over by a child or pet, so if you leave the room it’s good practice to switch it off,” Mr Hore said.
“Electricity and water don’t mix, so using heaters in bathrooms or other wet areas where one slight knock could see the appliance fall in or become splashed by water is potentially deadly,” he said.