Electric blanket safety warning

40 per cent of all electric blankets fail checks according to Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.

With electric blankets causing more than 250 fires a year, Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service are offering free safety checks to avoid any fire hazards this winter.

Community safety officer Carol Frances said: “In previous years, 40 per cent of all blankets we have tested have failed the checks. Faulty electric blankets can cause serious fires but they can be prevented by taking the right precautions and having them tested.

Outdated safety marks, scorch marks, frayed ends and damaged wires are all symptoms of a safety hazard.

People are advised to read safety instructions, avoid old or second-hand blankets as well as make sure neither they nor the blanket are wet when it is in use.

Blankets should be cool before being loosely folded or rolled and stored in a cool dry place away from moth-proofing chemicals.