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Elderly woman has lucky escape after electric blanket catches fire

An elderly lady left the property when she saw that the bed was on fire Credit: Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue

An investigation is underway after a faulty electric blanket caused a house fire in Oxford. Fire crews were called to Horspath just before 10:30 on Thursday evening.

When crews arrived, smoke was coming from the upstairs window. Luckily an elderly lady had left the building after discovering the bed on fire.

Crews were called to the property late on Thursday night Credit: Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue

"The lady was very lucky as the smoke alarm in the property had not raised the alarm. The 82 year old lady was in the property but only discovered the fire when she went upstairs - unfortunately the smoke alarm was not positioned correctly so was not able to give early detection to the fire”.

– Station Manager Paul Webster

Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to take extra care when using portable electrical heating devices and recommend that they are not used overnight and only turned on when they can be monitored.

Warming up for Winter - get your electric blanket tested

Hampshire council is offering people the chance to get their electric blankets checked for safety.

The County Council’s Trading Standards Service has teamed up with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and local councils to offer the free safety checks at venues across the county in October 2012.

In the last 15 years alone, almost 15,000 blankets have been tested in Hampshire with approximately 45% of these failing the safety checks.

The main problems are that many are old, worn out, have poor wiring, broken controls or offer no protection against over-heating.

Details of when and where the testing will take place can be found on Hampshire's Trading Standards website.