‘I woke up on fire’: Man reveals moment electrical device combusted while he was asleep

Firefighters are urging people to check their chargers as the number of fires caused by electrical faults continues to cause millions of dollars in damage.

The warning comes ahead of a new fire safety campaign aiming to save lives this winter.

Melbourne man Daniel De Gabriel knows first hand the dangers that electrical devices can present.

He was lucky to survive a fire sparked by a faulty electric blanket.

Daniel De Gabriel was lucky to survive a fire sparked by a faulty electric blanket. Source: 7 News
Daniel De Gabriel is still suffering anxiety after the incident. Source: 7 News

“It just kind of combusted whilst I was sleeping and I just woke up on fire, and my bed [was] on fire,” he told 7 News.

“I’ve got intense anxiety now. I’m dealing with panic attacks and just the psychological implications of that.”

Most people think summer’s bushfire season is the worst fire danger period, but Victoria’s CFA chief officer Steve Warrington said winter was actually more dangerous.

“As Victorians, we look at fires from a bushfire perspective but the reality is, we lose more houses during the year from just house fires,” he said.

“More people die in house fires than they do in bushfires, and that’s coming from one of the worst bushfire-prone areas of the world.”

“I just woke up on fire, and my bed [was] on fire,” Daniel said. Source: 7 News

In 2017, more than 3000 Victorian house fires were found to have been preventable.

Eight lives could have been saved and $74 million in damage avoided.

More than 230 fires were started by faulty electrical appliances.

Those who charge mobile phones or computers next to their bed at night are in particular danger.

“Our advice is to turn it off,”  Mr Warrington said.

In 2017, more than 3000 Victorian house fires were found to have been preventable.

“Charge the devices that you need to charge in daylight hours, when you are physically there to watch it.”

The kitchen is the most dangerous room in the house, with more than 1300 fires breaking out in the kitchen in 2017.

“Have a smoke alarm, check the smoke alarm, particularly at this time of year,” Mr Warrington said.

“Check that the battery works, and if you don’t have one, for goodness’ sake, just go and get one.”