AAP May 08, 2013 11:53AM
AS heaters, electric blankets, hot water bottles and wheat packs are pulled out to ward off the cold, people are being warned to observe safety tips about their use.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Wednesday issued simple reminders as the weather cools and winter approaches.
ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said winter-warming items, including pyjamas, posed safety risks if poorly made or faulty or not used properly.
Faulty items could lead to fires, burns or electric shock, she said in a statement.
Following a recent NSW coronial inquest into the dangers of wheat bags, Ms Rickard said the packs should not be used to heat beds, a hot water bottle being better.
A coroner found last week that a wheat bag placed under bed covers started a fire in which 80-year-old Margaret Rae died in her Caringbah home in Sydney’s south in September 2011.
The inquest was told wheat bags used as bed warmers had caused a spate of house fires in NSW.
Ms Rickard said people should throw out their hot water bottles every two years or earlier if they started to show signs of wear and check their electric blankets and heaters were not faulty or part of a product recall.
Parents should be aware that children’s clothing with a ‘low fire danger’ label was still flammable and they should keep children away from fire places and gas stoves.
People should also ensure that heaters were not placed too close to furniture and that clothes placed on heaters could ignite.