Check up before you warm up this winter: RACQ

As Queenslanders turned to heaters and blankets to warm up, RACQ has warned about the importance of electrical appliance safety checks, with the insurer recording almost 1,000 claims for fire damage to homes in the past three years.

RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said insurance claims revealed home fires were most commonly caused by mechanical or electrical faults, with 280 claims for home fires caused by appliance issues. 

“With temperatures dropping rapidly across the State, there’ll be plenty of old heaters and electric blankets pulled out of the cupboard,” Ms Ross said.

“It’s really important every homeowner completes a thorough check of the appliance to avoid running the risk of a home fire this winter.” 

Ms Ross said it wasn’t just the heating appliances that could cause damage, with the statistics showing cooking incidents rated as the second most common cause of a home fire claim. 

“Winter can be a very common time for your cooktop or oven to have issues,” she said.

“We’ve received more than 185 claims for fire damage from cooking or barbecuing in the last three years, and when many of us are cooking with oil or over gas, a fire can spark quickly and cause widespread damage to your home.” 

Ms Ross said there were simple rules Queenslanders should follow to stay safe this winter: 

  • Never leave an oven, BBQ or cooktop unattended
  • Don’t leave the house with your electric blanket or heater still running
  • Regularly clean your dryer filter
  • Make sure you’ve had an electrician check all wiring and cords in your home.