Did you know one in three house fires occur in winter months?  Here are some tips for staying warm – and safe – this winter.

Check first

  • Check and clean heaters and fireplaces before using that haven’t been used since last winter. Oil, gas or wood heating units might require a yearly maintenance check.


  • Place portable heaters on a strong, sturdy, non-combustible surface.
  • Don’t put them near curtains, tablecloths, bedding or flammable materials like paper or wallpaper.
  • Don’t place clothes on your heater to dry – keep wet clothing at least one metre away.
  • Turn it off before going to bed.


  • Use a fireplace screen to stop sparks flying into the room and make sure the fire is out before you go to bed.

Kids’ sleepwear

  • Dress children in pyjamas with low fire danger.
  • Set a rule about the distance your children must stay away from heaters, especially if they’re dressed in flowing nightwear and dressing gowns.

Electric blankets

  • Check electric blankets by holding them up to a light – you’ll be able to see if any wires are touching.
  • Test your electric blanket by laying it flat on top of your bed and turning it on for five minutes to check it is working.
  • IF UNSURE, do not use and have an electrician check it for safety.
  • Store them carefully to protect the wires and replace any electric blanket more than 10 years old.