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18 May 2016, 20:56
Firefighters say an electric blanket was the cause of a caravan fire which killed a man in Staffordshire.
An investigation was carried out by police and fire crews after the man's death in Featherstone on Monday morning.
Fire Investigation Officer Tim Hollingworth said: “This was a tragic accident that may have been avoided. We cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that your electric blanket is safe to use. The consequences of using older or faulty electric blankets can be devastating.
“All older or faulty blankets should be replaced.
“According to the Electrical Safety Council you should think about replacing your electric blanket every 10 years. It is important to get your blanket checked to make sure it is still safe to use – ideally this should be once a year by a competent electrician.
“It isn’t just older blankets that can place you at risk. Folding electric blankets can sometimes damage the internal wiring, making them dangerous.
“If in doubt – throw them out. The risks just aren’t worth taking.”
Two crews from Cannock, one crew from Gnosall and two crews from West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service’s Fallings Park station attended the incident after an emergency call was received at 00.32 on May 16.
Firefighters wore breathing apparatus and used one main jet to extinguish the fire.
Firefighters arrived at the incident at 00.39 am on Monday morning and left the scene at 05.49 am.