26 September 2023

CFA issues warning on warm beds

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The Country Fire Authority (CFA) is urging Victorians to ensure their electric blankets are being used properly and in safe working order to avoid devastating consequences before the cooler season comes to an end.

The reminder follows a recent unit fire in south-western Victoria that was caused by an electric blanket.

While the occupants escaped unharmed and crews contained the fire to the mattress, CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said the types of incidents were often avoidable by taking simple measures.

“Regularly check electric blankets for broken or worn wiring,” CO Heffernan said.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

CO Heffernan said more than 70 per cent of fatal house fires started in bedrooms and living areas, and smoke alarms should be considered as a bedroom essential.

“On average, there are more than 3,000 house fires in Victoria each year and most can be prevented by taking simple precautions.”

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