Switch on to electrical safety this winter

Simple steps such as checking the condition of electrical appliances will help keep you and your family safe.
Simple steps such as checking the condition of electrical appliances will help keep you and your family safe. Trevor Veale

NORTHERN Rivers residents should be wary when switching on heating appliances this winter, Essential Energy has warned.

As the cooler weather sets in, Essential Energy is encouraging customers to consider electrical safety.

Regional Manager Northern, Mark Summers, said heaters or electric blankets which had been in storage should be inspected and cleaned before use.

"According to Fire & Rescue NSW, over 40% of all fire fatalities occur in winter. Simple steps such as checking electrical appliances for loose connections, frayed cords and exposed wiring will help keep you and your family safe," Mr Summers said.

"If any appliances are found to be worn, faulty or damaged, they should be repaired and tested by a licensed electrician or appliance repairer before use.

"Clean heaters with a vacuum cleaner or soft, dry cloth to remove any dust and ensure the lint-traps on clothes dryers are clean.

"Winter is also a good time to check the batteries in smoke and fire alarms, and test all units around the house are working properly."

Flammable materials such as clothing, curtains and rugs, bedding, towels, and furniture should all be kept at least one metre away from heaters.

"If you are looking to invest in a new heater or appliance this winter, shop around for energy-efficient, safer options. Consider those with automatic shut-off features that activate on a timer or if the appliance is knocked over," Mark added.

Further electrical safety tips for winter include:

- Only use purpose-built heaters in bathrooms and wet areas

- Always supervise children and pets around heaters to prevent accidents

- Turn heaters and electrical appliances off before going to sleep or leaving rooms.

For more information on electrical safety, visit: or call Essential Energy on 13 23 91.

Topics:  house fires northern rivers northern rivers community safety winter

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