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Heater & Fireplace safety

During the winter season it is very important to take extra precautions to toward fire safety. Australian data reveals that during winter there is an increased risk of house fires due to higher usage rates of electrical appliances.

Most of the house fires and/or burns are a result of unsafe use of heaters. Heater safety involves several steps and they are;

  • Correctly installing and maintaining the heating device
  • Supervision of children
  • Safe clearance between the heater and flammable items/materials
  • Using of correct fuels
  • Following manufacture’s instructions

Electric and Gas heaters

Most of the house fires in relation to electric & Gas heaters are due to placing them too close to flammable materials such as clothes and curtains and/or knocking them over onto carpet.

Safe practices

  1. Select an electric heater that has an automatic safety switch that turns the heater off if it is tipped off.
  2. Always check the cables and cord of your electric heater. Get rid of them if the cables are damaged.
  3. Don’t use electric heaters on table tops unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer. Don’t place heaters on furniture.
  4. Do not use electric heaters in damp or wet areas unless they are designed to use in outdoors or bathrooms.
  5. Use a trained, qualified and licensed gas plumber to install your gas heater.
  6. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s service schedule when running and maintaining your gas heater.
  7. Turn off the gas heater immediately & contact your gas supplier if you smell gas.
  8. Don’t bring your outdoor patio heater inside as they need adequate ventilation.
  9.  Always place the heaters on a flat, levelled surface.
  10. When the heater is running make sure it is well ventilated and not resting against walls or curtains.
  11. Keep heaters away from all flammable items such as clothes, bedding, furniture and curtains etc. Recommended clearance is 1 meter.
  12. Never leave your heaters unattended.
  13. If you are leaving the house or going to sleep, always remember to switch the heater off.


Fireplaces are beautiful and warm additions to your home. However, it is important that your fireplace is kept safe to ensure your family members are not seriously hurt.

Safe practices

  1. Regularly clean the flues and chimneys to stop build up flammable materials and make sure the fireplace function properly.
  2. After every use clean the fireplace.
  3. For safety of your children and stop them accessing the hot surfaces, install a guard or a screen.
  4. Use a screen to stop embers jumping out and burn your carpet and start a fire.
  5. If you have a gas fireplace, regularly check the connections to prevent any leaks.
  6. Make sure there are no electrical issues if you are having an electrical fire place.
  7. Never hand decorations or combustible items on the fireplace.

Using guards

Make sure that the fireplace is not easily accessible when it’s in use by children. You can do this by installing barriers such as a fireplace guard or a screen. These guards should be at least 700mm in height and 1 metre away from the fireplace. This will stop the children putting hands or things into the hot surface.  Make sure your guard is secured to the wall or floor to stop children pushing the it towards the hot surface. Apart from that secure any fireplace tool. Kids might think these as toys and could hurt themselves.

Educating children

Educate children on fire safety including following safety rules:

  • Matches and lighters are not toys. Keep them away from children.
  • The fireplace is not a play area. This include the hearth and the mantel. Children should not jump off the hearth or hang from the mantel.
  • Inside the fireplace is off limit, Kids should be taught that they shouldn’t climb inside or remove any screens or doors to get access to the fireplace.
  • Children should be taught not to get closer than 1 meter to the fire. Supervise them all the time.

At Seymour Consultants we provide a wide range of fire safety services. Our extensive range of fire safety services are designed to ensure that your property or workplace achieves a 100% fire compliancy. The laws associated with fire safety can become quite confusing, however at Seymour Consultants we provide our clients with simple, easy to understand explanations regarding the legislation to ensure we achieve an optimal outcome.