Do you have a fire hazard in your home this winter?
WINTER has arrived, bringing its fogs, frosts and single-digit temperatures to the South Burnett.
But before turning your heater on to warm things up, RACQ has urged people to make they aren't a fire hazard.
New research by the insurer has revealed more than 50 per cent of Queenslanders are putting their homes at risk of fire by not properly checking their heaters at the start of winter.
RACQ spokeswoman Lucinda Ross said heaters were only used for a couple of months in many parts of the state, before they were stored out of sight for the rest of the year.
"Heaters stored in cupboards or sheds are pulled out as temperatures fall, but often people don't check them before plugging them in," Ms Ross said.
"Nearly half admitted to only looking closely if they could see something was obviously wrong.
"An alarming 13 per cent said they never checked from one year to the next."
Ms Ross said there were some clear danger signs people should look out for when they inspected a heater.
"You don't know if your appliance has suffered damage while it's been in storage," she said.
"Dust build-up can lead to uneven heating, while damaged cords create an electrical risk which could cause a fire.
"If you're unsure if it's safe, have a qualified electrician check it out."
While the survey results showed Queenslanders weren't as diligent about checking heaters, 98 percent of respondents did have smoke alarms installed.
However, Ms Ross said 25 per cent hadn't tested them in more than a year.
"While it's great news the majority of Queensland homes have smoke alarms in their homes, they need to be checked regularly," she said.
"We don't ever want to hear of home fire fatalities which could have been prevented with something as simple as a working smoke alarm."