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Tips to safely keep warm this winter

Woman Stood At Window With Hot Drink

Throughout these winter months, evenings are getting shorter, and temperatures are dropping. Around this time of year,  hot water is being used in numerous ways to keep your  house warm, which can be dangerous if not used carefully.

However, harmful situations can be avoided by understanding how to use certain appliances safely allowing  you to have the perfect cosy nights in this winter. 

To help, we have put together this straightforward guide on how to use winter warmers safely.

Using hot water bottles safely

Hot water bottles can be extremely dangerous, as they can cause burns and scald. So it is important to use them the safe way. Here's our guide to using hot water bottles safely:

Rules and guidelines:

1. Before starting, make sure that the bottle is empty and not damaged. The stopper must be damage-free for there to be no spillage.

2. When filling your hot water bottle, ensure that the lining doesn’t stick together, as this will block water when filling.

3. Be careful of the hot water while filling your bottle, as the temperature of the water is extremely high. To avoid harm, use a kitchen towel or gloves when filling your bottle.

4. Fill the bottle ¾ of the way under 30 seconds. Do not overfill your hot water bottle or squeeze it, as it may burst.

5. Place the stopper back into the hot water bottle, tightly screwing and use safely. Never sit on your hot water bottle or place in contact with skin as you can burn. Nothing must be placed on top of the water bottle.

If you’re considering purchasing a hot water bottle, you must ensure that it complies with the British Standard of hot water bottles 1970-2012. This list of standards was developed to keep you, as a consumer, safe while using this equipment.

The list of requirements includes:

Hot Water Bottle
  • A clear British Standard Mark - The current standard (1970:2012) should be marked clearly on the body of the hot water bottle.
  • The Manufacturer’s or Distributors mark - This should be visible on the body of the hot water bottle, so that if there is a serious defect with the product, the manufacturer/distributor can be found and notified.
  • The hot water bottle comes with instructions for use - This should be followed closely and kept for future reference.

It’s also important to mention that hot water bottles in fact expire after 3 years, so they must be changed for your own safety. You can check the expiry date by looking for the manufacturing date. This is typically printed inside the funnel of the bottle, where hot water is poured. The wheel printed here will reveal the year it was made as well as the month.


Winter Tips for your Water Heater

Water Heater Controls

During winter, your water heaters need attention to make sure that things are in working order. To ensure your heaters are working their hardest for you, follow the following steps:

  1. Check your temperature - keep the water temperature around 49ºC to avoid scalding or burning, especially if you have small children at home.
  2. Flush your water heater - annual flushing can help increase its efficiency and lifespan. If you are not comfortable with doing this yourself, we suggest seeking professional assistance from a qualified plumber.
  3. Add insulation - adding a little insulation can help keep the water temperature up while lowering your energy bills.
  4. Schedule Maintenance - you can schedule an inspector to come and check your water heater for you, which should be done at least once a year. (This simple step will make sure that your water heater keeps functioning well all winter long).

Electrical heaters

Electric Heater

When using an electrical heater this winter, make sure to place it at least one metre away from any clothing or people. This will reduce the risk of clothing catching fire or your loved ones being burnt. Your heaters should also be checked and cleaned regularly to avoid dust build up which can cause fires.

Kettle usage

Person Making Hot Drink

When using a kettle, take caution when pouring. A full kettle can easily cause burns or scalding if the boiling water spills or the hot steam contacts the skin. Once you have finished with the kettle, make sure to unplug it and allow it to cool before cleaning up.

Electrical throws and blankets

Electric Blanket

Make sure to unplug your electric blanket after every use. If left unattended, electrical blankets can be serious fire hazards. If your blanket gets wet for whatever reason, ensure you don’t use it and that it stays switched off. You should also replace your electrical blanket at least every 10 years.