Stay safe and warm | North

The state government is reminding Victorians, including those in Hume and Whittlesea, to stay safe when using heating products such as hot water bottles, fireplaces and wheat bags this winter.

The government said it was understandable that some Victorians are turning to cheaper heating solutions as the cost of energy continued to rise, but insisted it was essential to read the labels of safety and to use the products only in accordance with the instructions.

In a statement, the government told the story of Greg Parsons and his wife, who suffered severe burns after their hot water bottle exploded.

“Greg has used hot water bottles since he was a child but didn’t realize how dangerous they could be when used after their expiry date,” the government said.

“He urges Victorians to consider how long they’ve had their hot water bottle and if in doubt, throw it away.”

Consumer Affairs Minister Melissa Horne has urged people to take the time to read labels as it could be the difference between a hot night at home or one in the hospital.

“Inexpensive winter warmers like hot water bottles can be a great, cost-effective way to stay warm during the winter, but it’s important to make sure you’re using them safely,” Ms Horne said.

The government said to avoid injury from hot acacia bottles, to avoid using boiling water when filling, to replace the bottle as soon as it appears worn or begins to crack, and not to never leave it on any part of the body for more than 20 minutes.

“In addition to hot water bottle safety, it is important to be diligent around all heating products to ensure your safety this winter,” the government said.

“This includes cleaning chimneys, checking electric blankets and using wheat bags as instructed.

“These measures are neither difficult nor time-consuming and can be the difference between staying warm safely or seriously injuring yourself.”

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