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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Electric blanket incident sparks safety warning

12/01/2016

A man in his nineties has had a lucky escape after a faulty electric blanket caught fire in his Stoke-on-Trent home today.

“The incident today involved an old electric blanket that was approximately 15-years-old. Wear and tear over the years and folding up electric blankets when they’re not in use damages the internal wiring, making them potentially dangerous."

Prevent Manager for the north of the county Donna Broadhead

Crews from Sandyford and Hanley were called to the semi-detached property at Brereton Place in Burslem at 9.26am after the occupier was awoken by excessive heat from the electric blanket on his bed.
The upstairs bedroom was filled with a large amount of smoke. His carer arrived during this time and led him to safety.

No smoke alarm was fitted on the first floor and the detector on the ground floor is not believed to have activated.

Firefighters using breathing apparatus used one hose reel jet to tackle the blaze. They carried out a free Home Fire Risk Check (HFRC) in the property before leaving the scene at 10.43am.

This incident comes in the wake of a house fire which claimed the life on an older man on Louise Street in Burslem last November. A joint fire and police investigation established that the fire was caused by an electric blanket that was at least 33 years old.
The Service is now warning people of the potential risks involved in using an old or faulty electric blanket.
 
Prevent Manager for the north of the county Donna Broadhead said: “The incident today involved an old electric blanket that was approximately 15-years-old. Wear and tear over the years and folding up electric blankets when they’re not in use damages the internal wiring, making them potentially dangerous.

“This fire shows just how important it is to have working smoke alarms fitted. The occupant did not have a working smoke alarm on the first floor of the property and had the carer not arrived when they did the situation could have been far more severe. There is no doubt smoke alarms could save your life and your family’s life in the event of any emergency.

“The carer did absolutely the right thing by immediately leading the older gentleman out of the house. He has had a very lucky escape. In the event of a fire you should get out, stay out and dial 999.”

For more information about electrical safety in the home visit: http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/424.asp
To book a HFRC call Freephone 0800 0241 999, text 07528 983101 or visit www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/bookyourhfrc.asp

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