- Created on Monday, 23 July 2012 12:35
Firefighters are urging people to take care when using electric blankets after an elderly woman narrowly avoided serious injury when one caught fire in her home this month.
It is understood that the woman, who is in her nineties, had folded the blanket, put it on her bedroom floor and accidentally left or switched the blanket on before she went to bed.
It was only when her smoke alarm began to ring that the woke to find the blanket smouldering. Luckily she had enough time to escape the bungalow and raise the alarm.
Firefighters equipped with breathing apparatus arrived at the scene and used a hose reel water jet to extinguish the fire.
Reports state that limited damage was caused to the surrounding carpet, however firefighters said that this incident can act as a warning to everyone who uses a blanket.
The woman didn't suffer any personal injury but was taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.
"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," said a spokesman from the Fire Brigade.
"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."
Rescue services also recommend that people always read the instructions on the blanket and never use an electric underblanket as an electric over blanket and vice versa.