Check smoke alarms, chimneys

Check your appliances . . . East Otago fire risk management officer Mark Bredenbeck shows off the damage that can happen because of a faulty wall heater. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The Fire Service is encouraging people to check the batteries in their smoke alarms as daylight saving comes to an end.

East Otago fire risk management officer Mark Bredenbeck said winter was a good time to make sure all the winter essentials, such as heaters and chimneys, were in good condition as well as ensuring smoke alarms had working batteries.

Mr Bredenbeck said there were plenty of things people could do to prevent a fire, and that most fires in winter were caused by people trying to heat their homes.

“During the winter we get a lot more chimney fires, obviously, caused by dirty chimneys and people using their fires more often.

He advised people to keep their chimneys clean and sweep them before they were used.

“When you dispose of ashes from a fire dispose of them correctly, not in a plastic bin, and make sure they are nice and cold before they go anywhere.

“The other common cause during the winter time will be clothes and heaters.”

Mr Bredenbeck said it was common for people to use their driers more in winter so it was important to clean the lint trap to avoid any dangers.

“If you have electric blankets, don’t use them if they are old. Get them checked. You need to make sure that what you’re using is up to date.”

Turning off heaters and electric blankets before going to bed was also important, as was keeping drying clothes a safe distance from any heaters.

“If you’re drying clothes inside the house, make sure they are over a metre from the heater.”

Daylight saving ended at 3am on Sunday, with clocks turned back one hour.