Electric blankets fail the test in Witney
At a recent electric blanket safety testing session in Witney, 43% were deemed unsafe to use.
Residents had their blankets tested free as part of a joint home safety scheme run by West Oxfordshire District Council and Oxfordshire County Council. Out of the 86 blankets brought in for testing in Witney 38 failed, although one of these was repaired.
"Although I am pleased that so many people have brought their blankets in for testing, the fact that such a high number were unsafe is extremely worrying," said Cllr David Harvey, Cabinet Member for the Environment. "Faulty blankets are a common cause of fires and the best advice for anyone with a blanket that is more than 10 years old, or showing signs of wear, is to get a new one."
There is another West Oxfordshire electric blanket safety testing session in Chipping Norton on the 18th October. Bookings can be made by telephoning 01993 861381.
Old or damaged electric blankets cause more than 5,000 fires a year in the UK. Each year around 20 people are killed and 100 injured as a result of such fires. Research has shown that blankets that are 10 years old, or older, are responsible for 99% of these fires.
The danger signs are:
* Worn or frayed fabric.
* Scorch marks.
* Tie tapes (if originally fitted) damaged or missing.
* Flex worn or damaged.
* Loose electrical connections.
* Damaged or displaced heating wires (hold the blanket up to the light to check).
It is advised to always buy new and look out for a European Certification Mark such as the new BEAB safety mark.
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