Woman escapes Wembley 'electric blanket' blaze

Preston Road in Wembley, Brent, where the fire broke out

Preston Road in Wembley, Brent, where the fire broke out - Credit: Google

A fire that broke out in a house in Wembley over the Christmas period is thought to have been sparked by an electric blanket, it has been confirmed.

An investigation by the London Fire Brigade (LFB) came to this finding after a fire began in a bedroom of a house in Preston Road while the occupant was asleep.

A LFB spokesperson said: "She [the occupant] heard crackling and discovered the fire at the end of the bed, called for help from other occupants and attempted to roll up and smother the bedclothes that were alight.

"A member of the public who was passing by noticed flames at the window and called the Brigade.

"On arrival, crews encountered a well developed fire in the bedroom."

They warned: "You should never try to tackle a fire yourself."

The Brigade was called just after 9pm on December 30, and the fire was under control by 10pm.

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One woman - who left the property before the LFB arrived - was taken to hospital suffering smoke inhalation by London Ambulance Service crews.

Part of the first floor of the detached house was damaged by the fire. 

Firefighters' top tips for using electric blankets safely:

  • Store electric blankets flat, rolled up or loosely folded to prevent damaging the internal wiring. 
  • Unplug blankets before you get into bed, unless it has a thermostat control for safe all-night use.
  • Never use an electric blanket if you have an air flow pressure relief mattress, or use emollient creams - ask for non-flammable alternatives instead.
  • If your blanket gets wet, don’t use it and never switch it on to dry it.
  • Do not buy second-hand electric blankets.
  • Check regularly for wear and tear and replace at least every 10 years.

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