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Don’t sleep with a killer – get your electric blanket tested for free

People who own an electric blanket are urged to take advantage of free electric blanket testing sessions carried out by North East Lincolnshire Council’s Trading Standards team at the beginning of October

A drop in session will be held at Cleethorpes Memorial Hall on Wednesday 8 October 2014 between 10am and 3pm as part of the Older Peoples Advice day.

There is a limit to the number of tests that can be carried out on the day and priority will be given on a first come, first served basis.

For any electric blankets that fail the testing, replacements are available for the over 60s, for a small donation, courtesy of the Local Fundraising Committee of Age UK.

Last year 22 per cent of blankets tested failed due to problems such as faulty control units, loose electrical connections and no overheating protection, meaning households could be sleeping with a potential killer.

National fire statistics show that electric blankets account for more than 5,000 fires a year with blankets over 10 years old posing the most dangerous.

Neil Clark, community protection manager responsible for Trading Standards at North East Lincolnshire Council, said:

“Although when electric blankets are sold, they are so with strict safety standards, they do wear with age and damage can occur, improper storage during the Summer can cause damage and faults also.

“I would urge residents to get blankets checked especially if they are over ten years old because residents can be sleeping with potential killers.”

Top tips for electric blanket safety include:

• Never use a blanket with scorch marks, exposed elements or if it is wet or damp
• Check the electrical lead for any signs or wear or damage
• Ensure the blanket is stored carefully; roll it or fold it loosely to avoid creases as far as possible

If you are unable to attend the session you can drop off your electric blanket at the Age UK offices, 27 Osborne Street, Grimsby DN31 1EY, on Monday 6 October between 9am and 4.30pm and the Tuesday 7 October between 9am and midday. Please make sure that any dropped off blankets are bagged and clearly labelled with a name, address and telephone number. They will be returned to the Age UK office after the event for collection.