Shocking heater stats prompt winter warning: RACQ

New RACQ research has revealed more than 50 percent of Queenslanders were putting their homes at risk of fire by not properly checking their heaters at the start of winter.

RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said in many parts of the Sunshine State heaters were only used for a couple of months before they were stored out of sight for the rest of the year.

“Heaters stored in cupboards or sheds are pulled out as temperatures fall, but often people don’t check them before plugging them in,” Ms Ross said.

“Nearly half admitted to only looking closely if they could see something was obviously wrong.

“An alarming 13 percent said they never checked from one year to the next.”

Ms Ross said there were some clear danger signs people should look out for when they inspected a heater.

“You don’t know if your appliance has suffered damage while it’s been in storage,” she said.

“Dust build-up can lead to uneven heating while damaged cords create an electrical risk which could cause a fire.

“If you’re unsure if it’s safe, have a qualified electrician check it out.”

Ms Ross said 98 percent of people surveyed had smoke alarms installed, but 25 percent hadn’t tested them in more than a year.

“While it’s great news the majority of Queenslanders have smoke alarms in their homes, they need to be checked regularly,” she said.

“We don’t ever want to hear of home fire fatalities which could have been prevented with something as simple as a working smoke alarm.”