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Portable Heater – Safety concerns after Target recall.

Portable Heater – Safety concerns after Target recall.

It’s already set to be a record cold winter this year in typical Melbourne style and many of us are reaching for portable heaters to get the house that bit warmer on these cold mornings and evenings. However, it’s so important that before you do this you make sure you are not risking the safety of your family.Over the years portable heaters are often left in cupboards and only used for guests or for the occasional frosty weekend morning. What you might not realize is that a number of these portable heaters have actually been recalled.

The latest recall in May 2016 was Target’s Essentials fan heater. According to the ACCC, the Target model’s heater element and fan assembly could break away causing a fire risk. The heater was sold at Target between the 1st and March 2016 and the 28th of April 2016. If you have one of these heaters, you need to return it to your nearest Target store for a full refund.

According to Product Safety Australia, a Sunair heater was recalled back in 2009. Five years after that recall, the same model heater was responsible for a house fire when the heater ignited. The average return rate for recalled heaters is just 40%. Sunair heaters were sold in Bunnings, Good Guys, Mitre 10, Coles and Kmart – all popular shopping spots for families these days. So even if you have a portable heater that is working and hasn’t had much use, it’s still worth taking five minutes to check its safe!Follow our tips below to help keep you and your family safe this winter when using portable heaters.

Follow our tips below to help keep you and your family safe this winter when using portable heaters.

1. Check for product safety recalls

You can check if your heater is safe by visiting the ACCC product safety recall website and heading to the electrical section or click on this link:

2. Replace faulty appliances immediately

Are you holding the cord in just the right position to get it to work? Are you giving it that loving slap to bring it back to life each time you need it? STOP! Throw it away NOW!

Faulty appliances are dangerous and can put your home and family at risk. Don’t risk it – stop using faulty appliances immediately and replace them as soon as possible.

When checking portable heaters always check the power cord is intact and the heater is free from dust.

3. Don’t overload power-points

Heaters use more power than many other household appliances and should be plugged directly into a permanent power point, not an already loaded power-board.

For more information on the safe use of power-boards you can read our article on power-board safety here.

4. Make sure you have smoke alarms near all bedrooms

Smoke alarms only save lives if you have them installed in appropriate locations and maintain them. You can find out more about looking after your smoke alarms to make sure they are working when you really need them here.

5. Keep portable heaters away from other items

One of the most dangerous things about portable heaters is the potential fire risk when things such as clothes, furniture, bedding or curtains are too close. Keep these items away from the heat source and always supervise children and pets when near a portable heater.

6. Don’t leave portable heaters on overnight

If you are looking to leave a heater unattended or on for a prolonged period of time, a portable heater is not the answer. You need to consider a more permanent heating solution such as a split system air conditioner.

Freezing cold each morning and night? Using a portable heater to keep out the chill? Avoid the risks and install a split system. It will heat up any room nice and fast and save you money as you won’t be heating the whole house when you’re about to leave for work or hit the sack. You’ll even get to enjoy the benefits come summer too! Click here to find our more about Bluegum Air-conditioning services.

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