Wheat filled heat packs (wheat bags or wheat packs)
Wheat bags can help pain, but they also have the potential to cause burns and fire if improperly used. Fire & Rescue NSW Firefighters have responded to numerous 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, especially when heating. Ensure the timer on the microwave oven is correctly set when heating your wheat bag. Accidentally setting 30 minutes instead of 3 minutes is easy to do and has caused potentially fatal fires.
- When heating a wheat bag in a microwave oven, always place a glass of water next to it. This ensures the bag doesn’t dry out and overheat. Only fill the glass up to ¾ full. Exercise care when handling the glass of water as it may be hot.
- Only use wheat bags for direct application to body aches and pains. Wheat bags can ignite, and are not designed to replace hot water bottles for warming beds.
- Regularly check your wheat bag for signs of wear and tear or scorching. With age the fillings dry out and become combustible.
- If your Wheat bag begins to smoulder or catches fire ring Triple Zero Immediately.
- Don’t overheat the wheatbag by placing it in the microwave longer than specified by the manufacturer.
- Don’t leave the wheatbag 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 wheatbag before it has properly cooled.
- A wheatbag should be cooled down on a non-combustible surface before storing.