The cooler months means we will probably be spending more time in the home than anywhere else. It is also a time of seasonal hazards. As we unpack our hot water bottles and electric blankets please keep these reminders for a safer winter.
About half of all fires in the home start in the kitchen, and more than 40% of all deaths from fire happen during winter. Here are a few tips to keep you and your home fire safe:
- Have a written home fire escape plan and practice it regularly.
- Install smoke alarms throughout your home and test them monthly. Change the batteries every year.
- Keep curtains, tablecloths, clothes and bedding away from portable heaters and fireplaces.
- Clean the lint filter every time you use a clothes dryer.
- Always keep children away from open heat sources such as fireplaces and gas stoves, and remember that even clothing with a ‘low fire danger’ label can still catch on fire.
Fireplaces & Heaters
If you have a fireplace in your home then make sure the chimney is clean and not blocked. Always place a screen in front of a fireplace when it’s being used, and never burn rubbish such as plastics or foam as these create toxins.
- Store matches and lighters in a safe place out of reach of children.
- Check that each heater is safe to use every winter.
- Don’t leave portable heaters in places where people or pets could knock them over.
- Gas heaters produce heat when they burn gas fuel. This also produces air pollutants and water vapour. If your gas heater doesn’t have a flue, service it regularly and make sure the room is well ventilated.
- Use just one appliance per power point and switch them off when you’re not using them. Heaters consume a lot of power and may overload the supply which can cause a fire.
- Never use a gas heater designed for outdoor use inside your home.
Check your electric blanket is in good condition and hasn’t been recalled by checking the Recalls Australia website. About 400,000 potentially faulty electric blankets were recalled in 2012. Faulty electric blankets can overheat, cause an electric shock, spark and potentially cause a fire.
You should always roll your blanket up to store it because folding it can damage element wires inside the blanket. When you take it out of storage and use it for the first time, lay it flat on the bed and check for hot spots as it heats up.
Hot water bottles
Use warm, but not boiling, water to fill your hot water bottle and examine it for leaks before you use it. Replace it as soon as it starts to look cracked or worn or every two years. Remember – the rubber can perish from the inside so you may not be able to see if it’s worn out.
Learning first aid can help you to
identify potential hazards and
be prepared to act if an accident where to occur.
information source: www.healthdirect.gov.au
If you have a working smoke alarm you are reducing the fire risk to yourself and your family.
Legislation requires all residents must have at least one working smoke alarm installed on each level of their home. This includes owner occupied, rental properties, relocatable homes, caravans and campervans or any other residential building where people sleep.
Smoke alarms are life-saving devices that provide benefits for occupants. They detect smoke well before any sleeping occupant would and provide critical seconds to implement actions to save life and property. Smoke alarms are designed to detect fire smoke and emit a loud and distinctive sound to alert occupants of potential danger.
5 Autumn Safety Tips
Autumn often requires us to make changes in our lifestyle or routine due to weather, school health and upcoming holidays. Here are 5 tips to help you stay healthy and safe.
Tip 1: Be prepared for cold weather
Exposure to cold temperatures can cause serious health problems. Infants and the elderly are particularly at risk, but anyone can be affected. Know how to prevent health problems and what to do if a cold-weather emergency arises. Remember that using heaters and fireplaces can increase the risk of household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
How can you tell?
Strong companies and organisations are built around strong leaders.
Not everyone can be a boss, but EVERYONE can be a leader.
How we each fill our role in the workplace contributes to the overall effectiveness of the business. No one is JUST a first aider or JUST a safety officer.
It’s all too easy to be so focused on the safety aspect of WHS that the H – Health – gets forgotten. You may have effective safety systems in place to alert, minimise and monitor safety risks. Can you say the same when it comes to health risks?
Workplace safety and accident prevention are obvious and important areas to manage. Lost time caused by injury is a major problem and the effects of a serious accident on a worker, their family and the workplace are far reaching. Rightly a workplace should do everything it can to lower the risk of a serious accident.
But that’s only half the story in the workplace.
Have you ever seen someone in of need help?
For most of us it’s natural to be a little “freaked out” when we see someone in need of help. Instant and fleeting thoughts may be “It’s not my problem” or “I hope someone knows what to do, because I’m not sure!”
After all, it’s not something we’ve been planning for and it’s not something we wish on anyone.
The important thing is not necessarily what our first reaction is, but how we manage that reaction and what we do next. Even when there is additional help around it’s important that we are ready to do what we can. Why is that?
Fire safety is an important part of managing your workplace health and safety successfully. This is because the right people with the right skills can handle a potentially major fire to minimise the risk to people and property.
Is it really that hard? You have a fire and a fire extinguisher, it’s all self evident isn’t it?
The reality is more complicated. Understanding what fire is, how it burns and spreads is vital to putting a fire out in the safest possible manner.
A Fire training course gives you those knowledge and helps you develop the skills you need. For example, did you know there are 4 principles of fire extinction? And that each of these affects how a particular type of extinguisher works?
It’s a basic representation of the ingredients needed more most fire to start and keep burning.
The three sides represent:
All three elements are essential for a fire to continue burning and need to be in place in sufficient quantity for a chain reaction to start and for the fire to continue burning.
Remove one and you can prevent or extinguish fire.
In fact all methods of putting out a fire revolve around lowering or removing one of these three.
For example the fire hoses used at many house fires work by lowering the temperature to a point where the fire can no longer sustain itself.