Aug 17, 2014
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Prevent fires in your clothes dryer this winter

Winter is here and as the temperature drops, Australians are starting to use their clothes dryers more, particularly in the southern states.

It’s important for families to be aware of the risks associated with cooler weather, and one of them is your clothes dryer. Over time, lint can build up in your clothes dryer and become a potential hazard. By cleaning the lint filter in the clothes dryer before, or after each use it may help to reduce the chance of a fire.

According to Fire & Rescue NSW, it can take just three minutes for a fire to take hold, but only seconds to prevent one (source). A detection device such as a smoke alarm, coupled with a fire escape plan can be life-saving.

Other winter tips regarding the use of heaters during winter

The use of heaters during winter greatly increases both the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and fire in the home. Quell suggest to help prevent fire risks this winter, ensure you have a working smoke alarm, that space heaters meet the latest safety standards, which would include having a cut off device, placing heaters on a hard, stable surface and turning heaters off when you leave an area or before going to bed.

Heaters also pose a CO risk if they are faulty or are being used incorrectly. Carbon monoxide, often called the ‘silent killer’ is a clear, tasteless and odourless substance that is produced from the incomplete combustion of gas. Quell recommends having your gas appliances checked by a qualified technician and ensuring that at least one CO alarm is present on each level of your home, ideally in or near any room with a fuel burning appliance (such as boiler, gas cooker, fireplace or heater).

National Consumer Manager at Quell, David Laundry says that the winter months can be a serious safety hazard if families are unprepared. “The lead up to winter is a great time, not only to check the fire alarms in your home are functioning, but also to research into what other fire safety equipment you may need in your home to protect your family in the best possible way.”

Keep you and your family safe this winter with Quell.

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Winter is Coming

Stay Safe in Winter – Fire/Carbon Monoxide Risks During Cold Weather

Traditional heating sources, such as a fireplace or space heater can be dangerous if not used properly. As temperatures drop, some simple tips can help keep families safer.

Winter months in particular are the peak time for house fires and carbon monoxide poisonings, with most incidents due to improperly ventilated or malfunctioning heater sources. Families can better protect themselves by having working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of the home and in sleeping areas, as well as fire extinguishers within reach in the kitchen, garage and bedroom. In addition, the experts at Quell recommend the following heater safety tips:

Carbon Monoxide Prevention

  • Do not use ovens or stoves to heat your home.
  • Keep chimneys clear of animal nests, leaves and residue to ensure proper venting. Have all fireplaces cleaned and inspected annually.
  • Have a licensed professional inspect heating systems and other fuel-burning appliances annually.
  • Install fuel-burning appliances properly and operate according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Do not use unvented gas or kerosene space heaters in enclosed spaces. Keep doors open to the rest of the house to help promote proper ventilation.
  • Do not run a fuel-powered engine, such as a vehicle or generator, inside the home or in an attached garage or carport. CO fumes can seep in the home through air intake valves, skirting boards and doors.

Fire Prevention

  • Ensure that space heaters meet the latest safety standards, which would include having an automatic cut-off device and guarding around the heating coils and burners.
  • Place space heaters on a level, hard and non-flammable surface, and keep them at least one metre away from bedding, drapes, furniture and other flammable materials.
  • Turn off space heaters when you leave an area or before going to sleep. Keep children and pets away.
  • Never use gasoline, charcoal lighter or other fuel to light or relight a fire as vapours could explode. Keep flammable materials away.
  • Develop and practice a fire escape plan with the whole family. Plan two exit routes for each room, and practice your escape plan at night to mimic the most difficult fire situation you might encounter. Never re-enter a burning home. Be sure that someone is responsible for waking young children and escorting them to safety.
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SAFEGUARD YOUR HOME WITH QUELL

Quell is one of the most respected names in Fire & Safety in the Australian consumer market. A division of Chubb, the world-renowned fire safety and security company with over 100 years' experience, Quell's commitment to quality and product innovation is unparalleled.