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Fire & Emergency New Zealand

Waikato residents urged to check electric blankets before winter

Waikato residents urged to check electric blankets before winter

Faulty electric blankets can cause fires.

Urban and rural residents in the Waikato are being urged to get their electric blankets checked before the cold weather sets in.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand is hosting two electric blanket testing days in the Waikato.

They will be held at both the Hamilton Fire Station, Saturday 1 April from 9am - 12 noon, and Te Kauwhata Fire Station, Saturday 22 April from 9am - 12 noon.

"Just bring your electric blanket, and we’ll check to see if it’s faulty, or if you can put it straight on your bed," Senior Advisor Community Readiness and Recovery, Kevin Holmes says.

In 2021, the same event was held at the Hamilton Fire Station. 350 electric blankets were tested, and 22 were removed due to the fire risk.

"We potentially saved 22 house fires from happening that year - just by people being proactive and getting their blankets tested," he says.

Kevin Holmes says there are steps you can take to make sure you’re storing your electric blanket safely.

"Store your electric blankets flat, or loosely rolled up to prevent damaging the wiring.

"It’s also important to never sleep with your electric blanket turned on at night as it could cause a fire. Always switch it off before you go to bed," he says.

With the weather starting to cool down in the evenings, it’s a great time to check your electric blankets.

Check out more information on winter fire safety at www.fireandemergency.nz/winter-fire-safety/