Home' The Monaro Post : The Monaro Post April 5, 2017 Contents CONQUER THE COLD THIS WINTER
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WINTER WARMING 2017
Being physically impaired or frail due
to advanced age can significantly
affect your ability to survive if
unfortunate enough to be caught in
a home fire.
Are you winter safe?
The FRNSW recommend this simple
safety checklist to help keep seniors
fire safe this winter:
Have an adequate number of
appropriate smoke alarms installed
that are tested regularly.
Don’t fight the fire - get out and stay
out and dial ‘000’ immediately.
Know two safe and clear ways out
of every room in your home.
Make sure all keys to all locked
doors are readily accessible.
Have an escape plan in case of fire
and practice it regularly.
Never ever smoke in bed.
Place screens in front of open fires.
Be careful of loose fitting garments
Make sure heaters and their cords
are not a trip hazard.
Consider using wall mounted
heaters or oil-filled column heaters.
Keep portable heaters away from
curtains, tablecloths and bedding.
Place drying clothing at least 1
metre from heaters or fireplaces and
never leave unattended.
If you use a clothes dryer clean the
lint filter each and every time you
Don’t overload power points and
switch off when not in use.
Always handle candles or any other
open flame with care.
Fire Safety Tips
To test an electric blanket lay it flat
on top of the bed, then switch it on
for five minutes before putting it on
the bed for use to confirm that it is
Use only authorised installers of
fixed heating appliances.
Oil, gas or wood heating units may
require a yearly maintenance check.
Only use fuses of recommended
rating and install an electrical safety
If possible, in the kitchen keep a fire
extinguisher and fire blanket placed
near the exit.
Never leave burning candles or any
open flame unattended.
In an Emergency Call Triple Zero
The key to creating a bright, hot fire is good fuel.
Wet (unseasoned) firewood smokes more than
dry wood because the water in the wood must be
evaporated off before the wood will burn.
This lowers the temperature of the fire, causing
less complete combustion and excessive smoke.
Burning dry (seasoned) firewood will give you
a hot fire, leading to more complete combustion
and less smoke.
If you are buying firewood
If buying wood to use immediately, always buy
dry, seasoned, untreated wood.
Refer to your heater manufacturer’s operation
manual to identify the correct fuel to purchase
(hard or soft wood).
Because unseasoned wood has a high
moisture content it is hard to ignite, slow to burn
and produces more smoke and less heat.
It can cause your heater flue to clog up more
You can save money by purchasing
unseasoned firewood in early spring and storing
it in a well-ventilated shed or other covered area
Freshly cut wood should be stored for at least 8
to 12 months prior to use.
It is best to stack wood in a criss-cross pattern
to allow air flow.
What not to burn
Never burn household rubbish, driftwood,
treated wood or painted wood.
It is sure to pollute the air and it can produce
For example, the black part at the bottom of old
telegraph poles is saturated with preservatives like
Green pine logs used for garden edges and
park and playground equipment may have been
treated with copper chrome arsenate.
These logs are safe to handle but release toxic
substances when burnt.
Painted wood may contain chemicals that
should not be burnt.
Old, painted wood may contain lead which is
very harmful to human health.
Never burn coal or coke in a wood heater.
Each heater is designed for a specific type of fuel
using the wrong fuel can result in undesirable
How can you tell if wood is dry?
To tell if wood is dry/seasoned, bang two
You should hear a loud, hollow crack.
Alternatively, tap the wood with a key or coin.
Dry wood makes a sharp, resonant sound.
Wet wood sounds dull.
How to choose the best firewood
Seniors winter fire safety
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