Ergon Energy urges Queenslanders to be safe while keeping warm this winter.
Ergon Energy urges Queenslanders to be safe while keeping warm this winter. Monique Preston

Stay safe while keeping warm this winter

TEMPERATURES plummeted to two degrees in the South Burnett this morning, and other parts of Queensland are forecast to hit below zero in the next few days.

Heating appliances such as electric blankets and heaters are fantastic for keeping warm during the cooler months, but damage and misuse can also cause serious safety risks, Ergon Energy warns.

"Most of us store heating appliances at the back of cupboards or in the garage over summer and there's always the chance of being damaged without you knowing,” Ergon's safety advisor Kevin Hore said.

"So before plugging them into the power socket, you should always check their cords and casing for obvious damage.

"If any damage is found, the only safe course of action is to have it repaired by a qualified technician or simply throw it away.”

Mr Hore said even if the heating appliance was in perfect working order, it was still vital to ensure it was used safely and never left unattended.

"Electric heaters are very energy intensive and people should always be aware of their location before switching them on,” he said.

"It is important to never run a heater near anything flammable such as curtains and furniture, and to ensure it is never left alone or in a place children or pets can easily knock them over, causing a serious fire risk.

"Similarly, running heaters in a bathroom presents a danger of electric shock by bringing together two highly incompatible elements of electricity and water.

"However, when using any electrical appliance, a little commonsense will always go a long way to providing a safe environment for you and your loved ones this winter.”