Blaze sparks electric blanket safety warning

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A warning about the correct use of electric blankets has been issued Cambridgeshire Fire Service following a house fire.

The fire, in the upstairs bedroom of the house in Cambridge Road, Abington, began when a couple’s electric blanket caught fire while they were cooking downstairs.

Firefighters from Linton and Cambridge were called at 6.45pm last Wednesday.

Watch Commander Lee Allen said: “When the smoke alarm went off they thought it was something burning in the kitchen but when the man went upstairs and saw the blanket on fire in the bedroom he shut the door before doing back downstairs to check the electrics.

“Shutting the door was an excellent thing to do as it helped contain the fire to the bedroom and stopped the fire from spreading.”

Crews wearing breathing apparatus used a hose reel to extinguish the fire and a positive pressure ventilation fan to clear smoke from the house.

The couple were safely out of the house before the fire service arrived but the man was checked by ambulance staff after suffering from smoke inhalation.

Station Commander Paul Clarke, adult safety officer for CFRS, said: “Electric blankets should also be on a timer and never left on when people are out of the house. They also have a shelf life of about five to ten years so if people have had theirs for longer than that they should consider buying a new one.”

“Electric blankets should be correctly stored over the summer months because if they are folded constantly it can break down the filaments causing damage. Also, if any liquids are spilt on an electric blanket, we would not advise anyone use it.

For electric blankets safety advice visit http://bit.ly/2hQizsm