Fire and Rescue NSW are warning the community to take extra care with wheat heat packs and electric blankets following the fatal fire in Sunshine Bay on Sunday, August 18.
A fact sheet provided by Fire and Rescue said wheat bags are great for helping pain, but they also had the potential to cause burns and fire if improperly used.
The sheet said Fire and Rescue respond to many residential fires that have occurred due to wheat bags overheating in the microwave oven, or wheat bags being used to warm bedding materials.
What you need to know
- Ensure the wheat bag you purchase comes with instructions, and follow them carefully. Ensure the timer on the microwave is set correctly when heating your wheat bag.
- Only use wheat bags for direct application to body aches and pains, as they are not designed to replace hot-water bottles for warming beds.
- Regularly check your wheat bag for signs of wear and tear, or scorching. The fillings will eventually dry out and become combustible.
- If your wheat bag begins to smoulder, or catches fires, ring Triple Zero immediately.
- Don't overheat the wheat bag by placing it in the microwave longer than specified by the manufacturer.
- Don't leave the wheat bag unsupervised in the microwave.
- Don't let anyone, particularly children or the elderly, sleep with a wheat bag.
- Don't use the wheat bag to warm your bed up, as it may spontaneously ignite.
- Don't reheat the wheat bag before it has properly cooled.
- A wheat bag should be cooled down on a non-combustible surface before storing.