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The fire occurred within a bedroom inside a rented apartment. The occupant's daughter woke to find that her bed was on fire, which was caused by her electric blanket that was in-use. The fire had begun from the area where the supply cable enters the blanket, and rapidly spread across the bed and curtains, causing severe damage to the dwelling and the contents.
WorkSafe Energy Safety contacted the victim’s guardian who advised the age of the blanket was more than 5 years and no injuries were sustained as a result of the fire. It appears the blanket malfunctioned, possibly due to wear and tear. It was determined that the blanket carried an Australian approval stamped on the control switch which indicated it was an approved device.
WorkSafe Energy Safety noted the make and model in their records for future reference should a similar event occur with this type of appliance. WorkSafe Energy Safety recommends replacement of electric blankets every 3-5 years as they will increasingly become a safety risk due to wear and tear from use and variable summer storage arrangements.