Wheat bag warning

Do you use wheat bags?

If yes, read on, its very important.

We use them all through winter to keep toes warm in bed. 

If you do, there are a few things you need to know. 

In New South Wales alone there have been 31 fires as a result of wheat bags (news article) - injuring 11 people and killing one elderly woman. 

In the UK, the number of fires caused by wheat bags have jumped 500% in 2010 compared in 2009 (source). 

Both store bought and homemade bags are a risk it your wheat bag is:
  • over heated  in the microwave.
  • placed in beds and under blankets when they are very hot (they can smoulder without you being aware of it). (see video link at bottom).
  • heated without adding a mug of water when heating the bag which results in the wheat or barley drying out.
  • old and worn are a risk - replace the bags often.
  • made form fabric that is not fire retardant.

Its very important to read the instructions and ONLY heat as per the instructions.  I know it is commonsense but it appears that people are heating them far longer. 

If you make or buy homemade wheat bags - BEWARE of those containing scented oils as they can add additional fuel creating a greater risk. 

I would suggest for all those that use wheat bags - watch the youtube clip in this news link: http://www.ripplesnetwork.co.uk/wheat-bag-danger/


  1. All of ours have rice in them, do you think this lessens the risk, or it is just the use of heat packs in general that is the problem?

    1. Bets, I would make sure you replace them yearly and not over heat them. We will continue to use ours but buy new ones yearly (or replace the content) . In some of the fires people were heating their bags for far longer than listed time. And smell the bags, we had one that had a "burnt" smell so we stopped using it.


  2. Wow. This is a very important warning. We don't have a microwave so have never used these, but I've known people who do. It seems that here rice is the more common filler, but still, the instructions need to be followed carefully, and as the article mentions it's hard to know what is safe for a homemade bag.

    1. Rice can still overheat but I'm not sure if they smoulder like wheat and barley do. Do pass on the word, be interesting if there has been awareness in the USA as there has been in the UK and Australia.

  3. I heard a big report about this last week! Think I'll stick with the good old hot water bottles!

    1. We switched to wheat bags because one of our sons burnt his leg from a hot water bottle during the night ( he didn't even know until the morning). I might get a couple though!

  4. I think the most important thing there is to make sure you put a mug of water in the microwave with the wheat bag when you heat it - the moisture would provide protection from the wheat bag drying out - makes sense but I would never have thought of doing that myself!!
    Actually, I don't have a microwave and don't have any kind of heating bag (water or wheat or otherwise) due to the risks involved with each of them. I use a warm washcloth from time to time though - never heard of any problems with those, seeing as you never get them hotter than what your hands can handle anyway. I think I like the old fashioned idea of a heated brick. HAHA

    1. I think with any of these items, making sure to replace them each year is really important. Constantly being heated has some affect of them.


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