FIRE crews are warning the public about the dangers of electric blankets after one caught fire at a home in north Dorset.

Two fire crews were mobilised to a home in Sherborne during the early hours this morning (Sunday, January 23).

Upon arrival, the crews found a resident of the property had taken an electric blanket, which was alight, from the home to a nearby garage, where crews extinguished the flames.

A spokeswoman from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Rescue Service said: "At 0.45am this morning, two appliances from Sherborne were mobilised to a domestic property fire involving an electric blanket.

"The property owner luckily noticed the fire just before the smoke detector started sounding and safely unplugged and removed it from the property to the garage.

"Crews extinguished the blaze using two breathing apparatus, one hose reel jet, one safety jet and positive pressure ventilation.

"When buying an electric blanket, go to a reputable retailer and make sure the product meets the current UK and European safety standards - for example, BEAB approved.

"Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before use.

"Unplug blankets before you get into bed unless they have a thermostat control for safe all-night use.

"When storing an electric blanket, don’t fold it as this may damage the internal wiring. Store flat or rolled up.

"Examine the blanket regularly for signs of wear and tear - for example, worn or frayed fabric, scorch marks, wires poking through the material, any damage to the flex. If you find an issue, get the blanket replaced.

"Get your blanket tested by a qualified electrician at least every three years and replace blankets every 10 years."