Electric blanket warning after two Swindon fires

This Is Wiltshire: Electric blankets caused two fires in the Swindon area at the weekend Electric blankets caused two fires in the Swindon area at the weekend

WILTSHIRE Fire & Rescue Service is reminding people to take care with electric blankets after two bedroom fires over the weekend.

The first was in a terraced house in Walcot on Friday night and the second was at a property in Highworth on Sunday morning.

Both involved elderly people who were not injured but were checked over at the scene by the ambulance service because of the smoke.

Watch manager Neil Chamberlain, from the community safety department, has urged other people to get their electric blankets tested.

He said: “These two people were very lucky, as the fires were discovered quite quickly and the damage was contained. Electric blankets can be a serious fire hazard if they’re old or not maintained properly, so we would urge anyone who owns one to make sure it is safety checked every year. If you’re in doubt, buy a new one.”

When choosing an electric blanket, buy from a reliable source and check that it has a UK safety standard mark. Before use, read the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure neither the blanket nor its power cable shows any danger signs such as scorch marks, wires visible or poking through the fabric, or damage to the power cable or the connector.

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