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As the weather begins to cool down now in Melbourne, it’s typically the time we all start reaching for our electric blankets and heaters to keep warm. While it is important to stay toasty and warm during this time of year, there’s a high level of safety that needs to be considered here as we protect our loved ones from burns and fires.

As a Bayswater aged care provider, the safety of our wonderful clients is our utmost priority, so we thought it would be useful to share some fire safety tips to help you and your family stay safe this winter.

Electric Blankets

An electric blanket will always help you sleep more comfortably if you’re finding it difficult to stay warm in bed at night. However, they should be used carefully to ensure you or your loved one can be safe.

When using an electric blanket, keep the following in mind:

  • Do a quick inspection of your blanket at the start of each winter. Lay it out flat on your bed while it is switched on, leave it for five minutes and be sure to check for uneven hot spots. If you do notice any hot spots or any other abnormalities such as cord damage, then replace your electric blanket immediately. 
  • Roll up your blanket when not in use. Don’t ever fold it when storing it away as it can cause damage and increase the risk of fire.
  • Use it to warm your bed for a short period of time, not to sleep under as electric blankets are not designed to be used while you are sleeping. 

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Heaters are without a doubt the most common way to keep a house warm during winter, but it’s important to be safe when using them. Keep the following in mind:

  • Make sure you check your gas or electric heater at the beginning of each winter. Check for damage such as wear and tear, frayed cords or any damage at the start of winter.
  • Ensure your heater is in a stable position as accidentally knocking it over will cause a fire.
  • Don’t use your heater to dry your clothes.
  • Don’t sit too close to a heater as your loose-fitting garments such as a dressing gown could be a fire risk.

Wheat bags and hot water bottles can be easily used to help relieve pain in joints and muscles but can burn the skin if not used safely.

  • Don’t use boiling water to fill a hot water bottle as it can easily burn you. As the name suggests, use hot water and wrap it in a towel so there is no direct contact with your skin. 
  • Replace the hot water bottle every two years.
  • Be sure to carefully follow the instructions on a wheat bag when it comes to heating and storing, and never use them in bed or while sleeping.
  • Ensure your wheat bag is completely cool before putting it away.

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What to do in an emergency

Accidents can happen so it’s important to be prepared should the unthinkable happen. You or your loved one need to be prepared on how to handle the situation.

To begin with, create a written escape plan for you or your loved one and practice it regularly with family members. Ideally, you or your loved one should know two safe and clear ways out of every room in your house. Also, ensure everyone knows to call 000 in case of an emergency. 

We all need to stay warm during the colder months of the year, but we also need to stay safe. As a Bayswater aged care provider, we hope the few tips we have shared in this article will go a long way to assisting you and your loved one this winter.

If you would like to find out more about how our Bayswater aged care home care packages can support you, please click here to leave an enquiry or call us on (03) 8720 1338.