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Warning after electric blanket fire in Abersoch


North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is warning of the potential dangers of electric blankets following the lucky escape of an elderly woman from a fire at a property Abersoch this morning (Wednesday 25th September).

Firefighters from Abersoch and Pwllheli were called to the property at 05.28hrs after the occupier was alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm which had activated. Upon their arrival, crews escorted the 88 year old woman to safety after her electric blanket had overheated. She was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and transferred to hospital as a precaution. The fire was confined to the bed.

Geraint Hughes from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: "It is important that electric blankets are stored correctly when they are not in use - folding the electric blankets can cause damage to the wires within. They should be stored flat or rolled up. Before the blankets are used after seasonal storage, they should be checked to ensure they operate correctly.

"Electric blankets should be tested annually by a qualified electrician and replaced if they fail to meet the standard required. We also advise residents not to use electric blankets over five years old, and only use the devices according to the manufacturers' instructions. Also, sockets should never be overloaded and the fuse rating of the blanket should be checked by opening up the plug casing.

"Please don't leave an electric blanket switched on all night, unless it is thermostatically controlled and designed to be left on. Electric blankets should carry the British Standard Kitemark and the British Electrotechnical Approvals Board (BEAB) symbol on them.

"As this incident clearly demonstrates, a working smoke alarm is essential to safeguard your safety - a smoke alarm provides a vital warning allowing time to make your way out unharmed. North Wales Fire and Rescue Service offers free home fire safety checks which are available free for all residents in North Wales. To request a check, phone our 24 hour hotline on 0800 169 1234, or log on to our website"

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