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.

Local lines company WEL Networks, in partnership with Fire and Emergency New Zealand and Alpha Electrical are hosting free electric blankets testing events in Hamilton, Raglan and Te Kauwhata.

The events will be held on the following dates:

  • Chartwell Fire Station – Saturday March 2, 10am – 1pm
  • Raglan Fire Station – Saturday March 9, 10am – 1pm
  • Te Kauwhata Fire Station – Saturday March 16, 10am – 1pm

WEL Networks Fault Support Technician Tim Schollum says this is a great way to give back to the community and to give them peace of mind that their electric blankets are safe.

"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," FENZ Senior Advisor Community Readiness and Recovery, Kevin Holmes says.

In 2023, the same events were held at the Hamilton Fire Station with 79 electric blankets tested, and six were removed due to the fire risk. At the Te Kauwhata Fire Station, 58 electric blankets were tested and four were removed due to the fire risk.

"We potentially saved a total of 10 house fires from happening - 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.

"Our team enjoy working alongside WEL Networks and FENZ to offer this service," Alpha Electrical Operations Manager Mitch Bearman says.

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

For more information on staying safe this winter, click here