Firefighters' warning on non-compliant heaters: don't be put in a hot spot

SAFETY FIRST: Orange Fire Station manager Matt Jeffery says people should only buy heaters from reputable sellers.  Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0617sgheater2

SAFETY FIRST: Orange Fire Station manager Matt Jeffery says people should only buy heaters from reputable sellers. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0617sgheater2

AS temperatures continue to drop, firefighters worry bargain-hunting Orange residents may buy non-compliant heaters online and risk injury or property damage.

Orange Fire Station manager Matt Jeffery said there had been a number of incidents in Sydney where people had used non-compliant heaters with disastrous results, and he reminded Orange residents of the risks involved.

He said it was important for people to buy their heating appliances from reputable sellers.

“I can imagine that in a colder climate like Orange there may be people who are tempted to take the cheap option and buy a heater online or at a market,” he said.

“I want to remind people not to take the risk because it could potentially kill you.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Mr Jeffery said thanks to changes to reporting procedures at fire stations, statewide statistics were now compiled about the type and cause of all fires, making it easier to recall faulty appliances or issue warnings about the dangers of certain items such as unflued heaters.

This week the NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe reissued a warning on dangerous gas cabinet heaters. 

“These non-compliant heaters are extremely dangerous, have been the subject of repeated warnings from Fair Trading and were banned by the agency in 2010,” Mr Stowe said. 

“If you see one of these products in the marketplace, do not purchase it. 

“If you already own one, stop using it immediately and call Fair Trading to provide details of the place and date of purchase.” 

Mr Stowe said Fair Trading requested eBay remove the dangerous heaters from its site last June. 

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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