Elderly woman's electric blanket fire escape

First published in News Crewe Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

AN ELDERLEY woman narrowly avoided serious injury when her electric blanket caught fire in the early hours of Thursday morning, July 19.

The Cedar Court retirement accommodation resident, who is in her nineties, had inadvertently left the blanket switched while folding it up and putting it on her floor as she went to bed.

She was woken by her smoke alarm to find the blanket smouldering, and was able to get out of her bungalow to raise the alarm.

On arrival, firefighters from Crewe and Nantwich wore breathing apparatus and used a hose reel water jet to extinguish the fire, which caused limited damage to the bedroom carpet.

The woman was taken to hospital to be treated for the effects of smoke inhalation.

Paul Binyon, Station Manager at Crewe Community Fire Station, said the incident served as a reminder that care not was only needed to be taken when using electric blankets, but also of the lifesaving importance of having a working smoke detector fitted.

"This could almost have been a fatal incident had the smoke alarm not sounded and alerted the resident to the developing fire. It is proof, if proof were needed, that smoke alarms save lives.

"We would also recommend that people take extra care when using or storing electric blankets. They should never be folded and ideally kept flat on a bed, even when not in use,” he said.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service reminded people to:-

 

Always follow the instructions supplied with their blanket Never use an electric underblanket as an electric overblanket or vice versa.

Tie electric underblankets to the bed or mattress to stop them slipping and creasing as this could damage them.

Only leave a blanket switched on all night if it has thermostatic controls for safe all-night use.

Don't get blankets wet - if a blanket does get wet, don't use it and never switch it on to dry it.

Get blankets safety tested by an expert at least every three years.

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