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Home safety tips this winter

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With the cooler months upon us, it’s timely to remind ourselves about safety tips to keep our homes safe this winter. 

Particularly as winter is when we use items such as hot water bottles, electric blankets, wheat packs and we crank up the heaters in an effort to stay warm. Please keep the following in mind this winter:

  • If you don’t already, consider getting a fire extinguisher and fire blanket to keep in your kitchen area and only purchase items that meet Australian Standards.
  • Ensure you have smoke alarms installed throughout your home and replace the batteries in these at least once a year.
  • Never leave cooking unattended and clean fats and oils around the cooking area as these can catch on fire. 
  • Keep clothes, furniture and other items well away from heaters.
  • Never leave open fires and candles unattended. 
  • If you have an open wood fireplace, use a fine mesh screen in front of the fireplace to contain embers, sparks and logs.
  • Keep in mind gas log fireplaces and other heating devices require cleaning and maintenance – check the manufacturer’s recommendations and have them serviced accordingly. You should also be aware of and fulfil any ventilation that’s required for these heating solutions. 
  • Check electric blankets carefully for damage before using them. Lay them on top of the bed and test them for several minutes before installing them. 
  • Remember not to overload your power points or power boards.
  • Check your appliances to ensure they are in good working order (including power cords to ensure they are not damaged or frayed).  
  • Do not use boiling water to fill your hot water bottle and replace it as soon as it starts to look cracked or worn.
  • Only purchase wheat bags or other heat packs that come with clear heating instructions, and never overheat your bag as this can cause it to ignite. 

For more information, you can refer to the ACT Emergency Services Agency website.

We don’t like to think about it but in the event of a total loss, do you have sufficient insurance cover to rebuild and replace your contents? General Manager of Banking for SERVICE ONE, Tony Brown, explains further. 

“While many Australians carry home and contents cover, a significant proportion are underinsured which means the level of cover they have is not enough to get them back to where they were pre-loss. That’s why it’s important you review your insurance arrangements at least yearly. To help, we offer calculators on our website to help work out approximately how much your home building would cost to rebuild and how much your home contents is worth. Once you complete these you can then make some decisions around the level of cover you are comfortable with.”

Keep in mind SERVICE ONE can assist you with your insurance cover. You can obtain quotes and purchase policies online for certain types of cover, visit your local Branch or phone 1300 361 761.

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