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Easter tips for how to safely prepare for winter

Easter tips for how to safely prepare for winter

The long Easter weekend is looming. Now’s the time to get your house and garden primed and ready for winter – and stay safe doing it.

If you are thinking about preparing the garden for the colder months you may be using pesticides, fertilisers and other potentially dangerous products.

And if you are thinking about getting out the gas heater now is a good time for some safety checks.

In New Zealand all hazardous substances need an approval from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The EPA not only approves substance for use but also helps manage the risks by putting controls on how products can be used and stored, and by providing advice about using potentially dangerous substances.


• Here are 10 tips to keep the whole family safe:
Dealing with pests and weeds
1. Think about alternatives before you spray, for example maybe you could pull out weeds by hand or trowel
2. Remember that, to be effective, even natural, organic, or environmentally friendly products will have dangerous properties
3. Keep gardening products in their original packages or containers
4. Read the label and follow the instructions
5. Get expert advice on the best product for the job from your garden center
6. If you have children or pets consider avoiding pellet-type products which might look edible to them
7. If spraying, wear gloves and long sleeves – and read the label to see if you need to use a face mask or safety glasses
8. Choose a calm day to spray to prevent products being blown about
9. Try to keep your product out of waterways and never pour leftover products down storm water drains
10. Don’t spray if you can see bees are foraging or plants are budding or in flower

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Keeping warm with LPG

As the temperatures drop you are probably starting to think about ways to stay warm over winter. With the long weekend coming up now is a good time to check your gas heaters to make sure you can stay safe as well as warm. Here’s 10 things to consider:

Before using your gas heater
1. LPG catches fire very easily and may explode if the tank or cylinder gets punctured so store it carefully and check it before using it
2. Check the bottles and rubber parts for cracking and check for leaks – either apply soapy water to the connections, turn the cylinder on and look for bubbles or sniffing the cylinder for a smell of rotting vegetables. Get professional help if you suspect a leak
3. You cannot store more than a total of 100 kilograms of LPG unless you have special permission

Using your heater
4. Ventilate the room - breathing LPG can make you very sick and LPG heaters can make a lot of condensation
5. Stand away from the flame when operating the controls
6. Keep your heater at least a metre away from anything that may catch fire
7. If your heater is in a high traffic area or you have young children install a safety guard
8. Don’t use patio heaters and barbecues inside
9. Keep LPG heaters for large rooms and don’t use them in bathrooms
10. Turn off bottles at the valve when you are not using them

For more helpful safety information, visit


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