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By Katie Mitchell, 02 Aug 2017

Winter is here. While the cooler weather gives you the perfect excuse to stay in and binge-watch House of Cards, the cold season also brings with it a higher risk of house fires. As you crank up the thermostat and bring out the electric blankets, keep these preventative measures in mind to reduce the risk of deadly fires in your home.

Safe, Not Sorry

Smoke alarms are mandatory in all residential properties, and for good reason – you can’t smell smoke while you’re asleep. A small fire can engulf a room within minutes, which is why an early warning can be life-saving.

Photoelectric smoke alarms are endorsed by many of Australia’s state fire and emergency services and are a smart choice for the home. They’re less prone to false alarms while you’re cooking up your latest creation as well as highly responsive to smouldering fires and dense smoke. In a typical house fire, burning material can smoulder and smoke for a long time before flaring into flames. Photoelectric alarms can pick up on this within several minutes, compared to the 20 minutes it can take for ionisation alarms to activate.

HPM has worked with specialist researchers, engineers and electricians to develop a supreme quality photoelectric smoke alarm for households. The early detection it offers could mean the difference between life and death.

Warm and Safe

While heaters are invaluable on chilly nights, it’s important to ensure yours is safe to use. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions and refer to them often for service and maintenance directions, including regular cleaning.

Check that the power cords and plugs are in good condition, with no fraying, cuts, cracks or other signs of wear. Also avoid plugging your heater into a power board, double adaptor or extension cord, as this increases the risk of fire from overloading.

Most importantly, be careful about where you place your heater. Keep it away from curtains or drying clothes, take care using it in high traffic areas, and never leave it unattended, especially around children.

Avoiding Overload

Areas like your kitchen and lounge room are at most risk of fire. This is due to overloading powerboards with appliances galore in these high activity hubs of your home. To stop this power concentration, avoid the temptation of having all your electronic devices within reach and spread them out between different outlets.

Another rule of thumb is to give your electronic devices some space. Allow clearance for good airflow and dust them regularly. From time to time, have a sticky beak at all your plugs and sockets for signs of damage or wear. If you spot any cracks, frays, splits or bent tines – call an electrician to fix them. We all love a warm, toasty bed but don’t leave your electric blanket on during the night and make sure you switch your heater off before you go to sleep.

Time Savers

In a warm house, it can be easy to forget to switch off appliances such as heaters and electric blankets. It’s also incredibly common to forget when you have a hair straightener or curling iron plugged in.

Our easy-to-use timers are a simple way to reduce the hazard of forgotten electrical appliances. They’re also incredibly handy for automatically turning Christmas lights and pool pumps on and off.

Our quiet, non-ticking Slimline Digital Timer can be used as a seven-day timer, 24-hour timer, or clock, with an easy-to-read display. Perfect for everyday use throughout the year, it’s even more useful in winter to automatically turn on your heated towel rails, dryer, washing machine, coffee maker or kitchen appliances when you need them.


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