Electric blanket safety urged following fire in Abergynolwyn

Posted 28/03/2014 14:10:36

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is yet again warning of the potential dangers of electric blankets following a fire at a property in Abergynolwyn this morning.

Firefighters from Tywyn and Aberdyfi were called to the property on  Tan y Bryn Street, Abergynolwyn at 06.03am on Friday 28th March.

Four sets of breathing apparatus and a hose reel jet were deployed in tackling the fire.

The fire was under control by 07.04am. There was fire damage to the bed and smoke damage to the bedroom and landing.

Terry Williams, Head of Community Safety, said: "Two people were in the property at the time of the fire. They were very lucky to have woken up from the smell of smoke as there was no smoke alarm installed in the property. This incident could have quite easily resulted in another two people being seriously injured or even dead. A smoke alarm gives you early warning of a fire and allows you to escape from the property and get help.

"The cause of the fire has been established as an overheated electric blanket on the bed.

"We are therefore stressing the importance of electric blanket safety.

"Electric blankets should be tested annually by a qualified electrician and replaced if they fail to meet the standard required. We also advise residents not to use electric blankets over five years old, and only use the devices according to the manufacturers' instructions. Also, sockets should never be overloaded and the fuse rating of the blanket should be checked to ensure the appropriate size fuse is used.

"It is important that electric blankets are stored correctly when they are not in use - folding the electric blankets can cause damage to the wires within. They should be stored flat or rolled up. Before the blankets are used after seasonal storage, they should be checked to ensure they operate correctly

"Please don't leave an electric blanket switched on all night, unless it is thermostatically controlled and designed to be left on. Electric blankets should carry the British Standard Kitemark and the British Electrotechnical Approvals Board (BEAB) symbol on them.

"Remember that North Wales Fire and Rescue Service offers free home fire safety checks where a member of the Service will visit your home to undertake a fire safety assessment and provide advice, and if necessary, fit a new smoke alarm free of charge.

"To request a check, phone our 24 hour hotline on 0800 169 1234 or contact us on www.freesmokealarm.co.uk ."

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