Injuries and Fire Safety
Health Direct Australia provides some good advice on keeping your home safe from injuries and risks during winter, including how to keep your home fire safe.
Fireplaces, heaters, electric blankets, and hot water bottles can cause burn injuries or fire, so always use with caution and read instructions carefully.
Health Direct Australia provides some tips, including:
- Keep curtains, tablecloths and bedding away from portable heaters.
- Never use your gas oven or stove as a room heater.
- Use just one appliance per power point and switch them off when you’re not using them.
- Never leave burning candles or any open flame unattended.
- Install smoke alarms throughout your home and test them monthly.
- Have a written home fire escape plan and practice it regularly.
Read the full article: Winter health hazards at home
Dampness in the home
In the cooler months, dampness can be a problem, especially with older homes. A damp home can result in mould and mildew, paint discolouration as well as affecting your health.
Three things will help you fight dampness: ventilation, heating, and insulation
Dry clothes outdoors whenever possible or use well-ventilated rooms. If using a clothes dryer, ensure the air is being vented to the outside of the home using the exhaust fan or pipe.
Make sure air vents are not blocked. Improve air flow in the home by keeping furniture further away from walls.
In the kitchen and bathroom, keep doors close to prevent steam from travelling into colder rooms and causing more condensation. Keep the exhaust fans switched on to let the steam out.
For homes that have poor ventilation or serious dampness problems, invest in a desiccant dehumidifier– they work very efficiently in removing moisture from the air, even during cold winter months. If you have a mould problem and want to get rid of mould permanently, the best solution is a dehumidifier.
A great thing about desiccant dehumidifiers is that they can double up as a heater during winter, as they produce some heat as part of their dehumidification process.
Read more about desiccant dehumidifiers.