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19 December 2023
A concerning incident at a Kingston house occurred on Sunday. The London Fire Brigade responded swiftly to an accidental house fire, believed to have originated from a malfunctioning electric blanket. The emergency call was made at 2:08pm, prompting the arrival of two fire engines and approximately 10 firefighters from Wimbledon and Twickenham stations. By 3:37pm, the flames were successfully brought under control.
Fortunately, one occupant had evacuated the premises before the Brigade's arrival and was assessed on the scene by the London Ambulance Service crews. The fire, deemed accidental, has drawn attention to the potential risks associated with electric blanket usage.
According to a spokesperson from the London Fire Brigade, while electric blankets are an effective means of staying warm, it is crucial to adhere to safety guidelines. The spokesperson emphasised, "Electric blankets can be a good way to keep warm, but there are some simple tips to follow to keep safe if using them".
They continued to explain some simple tips to follow to keep safe if using them:
- Proper Storage: Always store electric blankets flat, rolled up, or loosely folded to prevent damage to internal wiring
- Unplug Before Bed: Unless the electric blanket has a thermostat control for safe all-night use, it should be unplugged before getting into bed
- Avoid Use in Specific Conditions: Do not use an electric blanket if you have an air flow pressure relief mattress or use emollient creams. Additionally, refrain from using a wet blanket and never switch it on to dry
- Caution with Second-hand Purchases: Avoid buying second-hand electric blankets, and instead, opt for new ones with the latest safety features
- Regular Inspection: Regularly check electric blankets for signs of wear and tear, and replace them at least every 10 years to ensure continued safety
To further assist individuals in enhancing their home fire safety, the London Fire Brigade recommends using their online Home Fire Safety Checker. This resource guides users around their homes, providing specific advice to reduce fire risks and promote a safer living environment.
View the SOURCE here.
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