With the nights getting darker and the mornings getting colder, winter is quickly approaching. Are you ready to keep warm? Do you have a fireplace or a heater? Is it gas or electric? Do you need to organise some chopped wood for the season? Are you investing in solar and saving money on electricity? Do you have an electric blanket or piles of flannelette sheets and an extra thick doona?
These questions need to be asked because winter can creep up on us, and for people that need to organise gas and wood, you need to be prepared. In the Central West it can get very cold; it can reach freezing point and produce an average of 5 degrees per day in winter. This is because we are a four season climate, in the summer it’s scorching hot, and in the winter its glacial cold with some areas actually producing snow!
First of all search locally for some fire wood, unless you venture out to chop wood yourself which you should be thinking of doing now, and keep it in a covered and dry location. If you have a gas heater, test your heater for gas now. You don’t want to be stuck on a freezing cold night without a heater. Make sure you know how to change the settings if you have a reverse cycle air conditioner. You don’t want not know how to change the settings from summer air conditioning temperatures to winter heater temperatures. When it comes to electric blankets you should always listen to your parents “Did you turn your electric blanket off?” – make sure when you get up in the morning that you turn off your electric blanket as they have the potential to start a fire. If the electric blanket is as old as the hills, it is probably safest to invest in a new one.
However it’s also time to make sure our beloved warmth-giving appliances are safe to use.
Every winter brings stories of devastating house fires caused by old heaters, blocked chimneys or faulty electric blankets. We don’t use or store most appliances away during summer and the build-up of dust around heating elements in column and bar heaters, even ducted heating systems, can spark a major blaze. It is very important to get your gas heater serviced or checked annually. An unsafe heater can cause a house fire or pollute your home with dangerous fumes. While good old-fashioned wood heaters and fire places may provide warmth incomparable to electric heaters, they’re also a source of potential danger. Check that your electric blanket is in good condition and make sure it has not been recalled. Do not place heaters to close to furniture items in your home, or place clothes on heaters.
Also ensure your fire smoke alarms have had their batteries replaced.
By Jessica Jenkins
If you’re looking for a new heater or electric blanket, Weily’s Betta Home Living in Orange has an extensive range in stock.