While the end of winter is approaching, the cold weather remains and CFA is urging Victorians to ensure electric blankets are used properly, and are in safe working order to avoid devastating consequences before the cooler season comes to an end.
The reminder comes following a recent unit fire in Hamilton that was caused by an electric blanket.
While the occupants were fortunate to escape unharmed and crews contained the fire to the mattress, CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said these types of incidents are often avoidable by taking simple measures.
“Regularly check electric blankets for broken or worn wiring,” said CO Heffernan.
“Ensure they are kept flat with controls at the side of the bed and when using them, turn electric blankets on 30 minutes before getting into bed and make sure they are turned off as you get into bed.
“CFA turned out to 14 house fires that were caused by electric blankets last year, and we continue to attend these incidents which are often easily preventable.”
More than 70 per cent of fatal house fires start in bedrooms and living areas.
CO Heffernan said in every household, smoke alarms should be a bedroom essential.
“On average, there are more than 3000 house fires in Victoria each year and most can be prevented by taking simple precautions.”
- Electric blankets should be checked for any damage to wires, leads, and hot spots
- If an electric blanket is damaged it should be replaced
- Old electric blankets should be unplugged, then have the cord cut off so that there is no chance of it being re-used
- Never purchase and/or use a second-hand electric blanket
- Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding the use, maintenance, and servicing of electric blankets
- Electric blankets should be laid flat and secured tightly on the bed
- Electric blankets should be turned on half an hour before going to bed, and turned off as you get into bed.