Stay warm in your home

Learn to heat your home to keep family and furry friends safe.

Winter on the Southern Downs is quite different from the typical Queensland winter.

As temperatures drop, a bit of preparation can help make your home comfortable and warm throughout the season.

Injuries and Fire Safety

Fireplaces, heaters, electric blankets, and hot water bottles can pose burn and fire risks, so always use them carefully and follow instructions.

Keep flammable items like curtains, tablecloths, and bedding away from portable heaters.

Never use your gas oven or stove as a heater.

Use one appliance per power point and turn them off when not in use.

Never leave burning candles or open flames unattended.

Install and test smoke alarms monthly.

Create and regularly practice a home fire escape plan.

Wood-burning stoves require regular servicing and maintenance to avoid potential fires. Without yearly servicing and cleaning, creosote can build up and block your flue, leading to a dangerous flue fire.

Keep the doors of your wood-burning appliance closed unless loading or stoking the live fire. Harmful chemicals, like carbon monoxide, can be released into your home.

Check the condition of the heater and flue, door seals, baffles, firebricks, etc.

Check for bird nests in or near the flue system in the roof cavity.

If loose insulation has been added to the ceiling (e.g., blow-in cellulose), ensure none has built up in the flue cavity clearance area.

Regularly remove ashes into a covered, metal container. Store the container outdoors on a non-flammable surface.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy.

Keep flammable items, like curtains, furniture, newspapers, and books, away from your appliance.

Dampness in the Home

Dampness can be a problem, especially in older homes, leading to mould, mildew, and paint discolouration, and can impact your health.

Three key measures to combat dampness: ventilation, heating, and insulation.


Dry clothes outdoors or in well-ventilated rooms. If using a dryer, vent the air outside using an exhaust fan or pipe.

Ensure air vents are unblocked and improve airflow by keeping furniture away from walls.

In kitchens and bathrooms, keep doors closed to prevent steam from spreading and use exhaust fans.

For serious dampness issues, consider a desiccant dehumidifier, which effectively removes moisture and can also serve as a heater.


Heat only the rooms you use and keep unused rooms closed.

Wear extra clothing, boots, and blankets to stay warm instead of relying on heaters. The layers of clothing trap warm air.

Cooking and baking can also help warm the house.

Monitor humidity levels to prevent dry skin and stay hydrated, using moisturiser and lip balm as needed.


Proper insulation can significantly reduce heating costs and keep your home warm.

Use a door snake or rolled-up towel to block gaps under doors to prevent heat loss.

Ensure windows are shut tightly to stop hot air from escaping and cold air from entering.

Use heavy curtains to retain heat.

Install or top up home insulation.

Seal gaps and cracks that let cold air in.

Close off unused rooms and let sunlight in to warm your home.

To maintain fresh indoor air during winter, use a ceiling fan on low or an air purifier to keep the air circulating and clean.