Winter fires: Electric blanket safety warning after close call | Photos, pictures

WHEN it comes to close calls there's one that sticks in the mind of firefighter Chris Sanders, especially at this time of year.

He has been a firefighter with Fire and Rescue NSW for 34 years and in his time said he has seen some incredibly lucky saves.

Just a few years ago, when he was stationed in Dubbo, a resident brought in an electric blanket that was just seconds away from catching on fire.

The resident and her family were just about to got out and at the last minute someone remembered the electric blanket was still turned on.

CLOSE CALL: The electric blanket that was found smouldering in a Central West home. Photo: LOUISE DONGES

CLOSE CALL: The electric blanket that was found smouldering in a Central West home. Photo: LOUISE DONGES

Parts of the blanket had already singed a dark black/brown colour and it had burnt through a fitted sheet, blanket and mattress cover.

"It could absolutely have started a house fire," Station Officer Sanders said.

"It is the best catch I've seen. If they had of gone out and not seen it, it definitely would have caught fire. It was ready to go."

With much of the region experiencing sub-zero temperatures at night, Station Officer Sanders urged the community to resist the temptation of sleeping with the electric blanket on.

"When you get into bed, turn it off," he said.

"If children or the elderly had an accident in the middle of the night, the last thing you want is liquid and electricity."

For anyone yet to get their electric blanket out of the cupboard, Station Officer Sanders recommended that people test it out before they put it on the bed.

"Take it outside, lay it flat and plug it in for a while to make sure it's ok," he said.

With two more months of winter to go, Station Officer Sanders said anyone using a clothes dryer should let it complete the full cycle and then allow it to cool down.

Clothes dryer safety tips

  • Clean your lint filter before or after each use
  • Ensure there is adequate air flow around your dryer
  • Don't leave the dryer operating when you're not home.

Visit Fire and Rescue NSW online to help minimise the risks in your home.

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