Therapeutic Wheat Bags

Therapeutic Wheat Bags

Wheat bags or wheat pillows are often used to provide relief from the body's aches and pains but if they are used incorrectly they are also a fire and a burn hazard.

Wheat bags are fabric bags filled with wheat (or other grains). They are heated in a microwave oven and then placed on the body to apply warmth.

Fires have occurred when wheat bags have been used as 'hot water bottles' to warm a bed. Further instances have been reported where wheat bags were found to be smouldering after they have been over-heated in a microwave oven.

If a wheat bag is over-heated the likelihood of ignition is enhanced if the wheat bag is insulated with blankets or a quilt when being used to warm a bed.

In addition, burns to the skin may occur with an over-heated wheat bag especially if it is being used on a baby, young child or an elderly person.

The MFS recommends that the following fire safety guidelines be applied when using these products:

  • Do not overheat wheat bags. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Use wheat bags only as a heat pack for direct application to the body. Do not use them as bed warmers.
  • Do not use wheat bags in bed to avoid the danger of falling asleep whilst they are in use.
  • Use wheat bags with extreme caution with the elderly.
  • Do NOT use wheat bags with babies or young children.
  • Do not reheat until the wheat bag has completely cooled. Reheating before the bag has cooled may be just as dangerous as overheating.
  • Watch for these signs of over-use: an over-cooked odour; a smell of burning; or, in extreme cases, smoking and/or charring. Discard the wheat bag after cooling if you observe any of these signs.
  • Do not put wheat bags into storage until they are cold. Leave them to cool on a non-combustible surface such as a kitchen sink.

Download the PDF English version of this Home Fire Safety Information Sheet

For further advice ring the Community Safety & Resilience Department 8204 3611, Country callers 1300 737 637

e-mail                   communitysafety@samfs.sa.gov.au

visit our website     www.mfs.sa.gov.au

or call in to            99 Wakefield Street, Adelaide during business hours.