Warning after electric blanket causes house fire

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service today issued a warning about the correct use of electric blankets following a house fire in Abington.

The fire, in the upstairs bedroom of the house in Cambridge Road, started after a couple’s electric blanket had caught fire whilst they were cooking downstairs.

Firefighters from Linton and Cambridge were called out at 6.45pm yesterday (Jan 3rd). Wearing breathing apparatus they 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 looked at my ambulance staff at the scene after suffering from smoke inhalation.

Watch Commander Lee Allen said: “The couple living at the house had turned the blanket on and gone downstairs to cook.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.”

Station Commander Paul Clarke, Adult Safety Officer for CFRS, said: “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.

“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.”

For further safety advice on electric blankets go to the CFRS website on the Home Safety Page, or use the following link: http://bit.ly/2hQizsm