Household heating safety

Household safety can save lives. By following these safety tips around your home you can keep your family and friends safe in your home.

Burns and scalds

Facts:

  • More than 7 children each year are burned to death in New Zealand. 50% are under 4 years of age.
  • More than 80 children suffer painful burns each year many of which will require years of skin graft operations as they grow.

How to stay safe with heating:

  • NEVER LEAVE A CHILD ALONE AROUND NAKED FLAMES.
  • Kitchens are not safe play areas.
  • Keep a fire blanket and/or extinguisher in a readily accessible place.
  • Refrain from buying lighters that resemble toys.
  • Keep matches out of reach.
  • Keep lighted candles away from curtains.
  • Lighted candles should be secured in safe containers.
  • Keep lighted candles out of traffic areas.
  • Put oil burners and candle burners away after use.
  • Ensure you have fire guards around all heaters and fireplaces. Secure to wall if possible.
  • Spark guards will not stop a child falling into a fire.
  • Keep heaters out of traffic areas and never dry clothing on heaters.
  • Acrylic clothing melts when too close to heat. Beware of children hugging heaters.
  • Check nightwear for labels regarding fire danger.
  • Install smoke alarms in bedrooms and living areas. Don’t forget to check batteries.
  • Turn your water temperature down to 55 degrees celsius.

Bathing children:

  • Run cold water first, test temperature 3 times before bathing.
  • Never leave a child alone in the bath.
  • One child’s life could be saved each year if the bath plug had been put out of reach.
  • Use hot tap cover.
  • Keep all electrical cords from appliances out of child’s reach.
  • As most child scalds are caused by hot drinks, use tablemats not tablecloths while small children are present so they cannot yank on the cloth.
  • Never carry a child and hot liquids at the same time.
  • Keep all containers of hot liquids well out of a child’s reach.
  • For all burns, don’t forget the rule 20 minutes under cold running water.
  • Role-play with your family an escape plan should there be a fire. ‘Once out stay out’.
  • Have a prearranged meeting place.

Electrical Safety in your home

  • Always use socket safety guards.
  • Ensure extension cords are not in traffic areas.
  • Don’t run power cords under carpets.
  • Regular checks for frayed ends and broken wires.
  • Power tools are not toys.

Gas Safety in your home

  • If you can smell gas, keep flames and cigarettes out of the room.
  • Regularly check the hose and connection on your mobile gas heater. !
  • Have your LPG Cabinet heater serviced annually.
  • With gas heating make sure it’s installed safely, maintained regularly and well ventilated.
  • If you can smell gas around your gas appliance, turn it off and call a registered Gasfitter to source the problem.
  • Do not switch on lights or electrical appliances if you have a gas leak as it may cause an explosion.