Household heating safety

Household safety can save lives. By following these safety tips around your home you can keep your family and friends safe in your home.

Burns and scalds


  • More than 7 children each year are burned to death in New Zealand. 50% are under 4 years of age.
  • More than 80 children suffer painful burns each year many of which will require years of skin graft operations as they grow.

How to stay safe with heating:

  • Kitchens are not safe play areas.
  • Keep a fire blanket and/or extinguisher in a readily accessible place.
  • Refrain from buying lighters that resemble toys.
  • Keep matches out of reach.
  • Keep lighted candles away from curtains.
  • Lighted candles should be secured in safe containers.
  • Keep lighted candles out of traffic areas.
  • Put oil burners and candle burners away after use.
  • Ensure you have fire guards around all heaters and fireplaces. Secure to wall if possible.
  • Spark guards will not stop a child falling into a fire.
  • Keep heaters out of traffic areas and never dry clothing on heaters.
  • Acrylic clothing melts when too close to heat. Beware of children hugging heaters.
  • Check nightwear for labels regarding fire danger.
  • Install smoke alarms in bedrooms and living areas. Don’t forget to check batteries.
  • Turn your water temperature down to 55 degrees celsius.

Bathing children:

  • Run cold water first, test temperature 3 times before bathing.
  • Never leave a child alone in the bath.
  • One child’s life could be saved each year if the bath plug had been put out of reach.
  • Use hot tap cover.
  • Keep all electrical cords from appliances out of child’s reach.
  • As most child scalds are caused by hot drinks, use tablemats not tablecloths while small children are present so they cannot yank on the cloth.
  • Never carry a child and hot liquids at the same time.
  • Keep all containers of hot liquids well out of a child’s reach.
  • For all burns, don’t forget the rule 20 minutes under cold running water.
  • Role-play with your family an escape plan should there be a fire. ‘Once out stay out’.
  • Have a prearranged meeting place.

Electrical Safety in your home

  • Always use socket safety guards.
  • Ensure extension cords are not in traffic areas.
  • Don’t run power cords under carpets.
  • Regular checks for frayed ends and broken wires.
  • Power tools are not toys.

Gas Safety in your home

  • If you can smell gas, keep flames and cigarettes out of the room.
  • Regularly check the hose and connection on your mobile gas heater. !
  • Have your LPG Cabinet heater serviced annually.
  • With gas heating make sure it’s installed safely, maintained regularly and well ventilated.
  • If you can smell gas around your gas appliance, turn it off and call a registered Gasfitter to source the problem.
  • Do not switch on lights or electrical appliances if you have a gas leak as it may cause an explosion.