Winter’s here – act now before it’s too late: RACQ

An alarming number of Queenslanders risk their homes and lives by not performing simple safety checks each winter, new RACQ research has revealed.

Ahead of this week’s predicted cold snap, RACQ spokesperson Kirsty Clinton urged Queenslanders to take a few minutes to check heating appliances and smoke alarms.

“An alarming 85 percent of people surveyed didn’t regularly inspect their electric or oil heaters, putting their homes at risk of fire,” Ms Clinton said.

“What’s even more concerning is most people reported only checking their heaters if they noticed a problem with them.

“Often heaters haven’t been used since last winter but are now swiftly being pulled out of storage as the days and nights get cooler.”

Ms Clinton said there were some clear danger signs people needed to look out for.

“You can never be sure an appliance hasn’t suffered any damage while in storage unless you check it out,” she said.

“An excessive build-up of dust, loose or damaged cords and rust are obvious signs an appliance should be checked out before being plugged in.

“If you’re not sure about an appliance’s safety, have a professional check it out.”

Ms Clinton said research found 70 percent of people surveyed had smoke alarms installed, but 12 percent had failed to test them in more than a year.

“It’s the beginning of winter so why not use it as a prompt to check the status of your smoke alarms,” she said.

“We don’t ever want to hear of home fire fatalities from something so simple as not having and maintaining a smoke alarm.”