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Free electric blanket testing for residents

It may still be summer and hot outside, but residents in West Oxfordshire are being encouraged to look ahead to winter and think about safety by signing up to get their electric blankets tested for free.
Residents need to book in advance to attend testing sessions being held in the autumn by West Oxfordshire District Council in conjunction with Oxfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards and Fire and Rescue Service.
The sessions will take place on:

Wednesday 5 October in Witney
Wednesday 19 October in Chipping Norton

Last year, 184 electric blankets were tested at sessions in West Oxfordshire and over a third (70 blankets, 28%) were found to be unsafe.
Cllr David Harvey, Cabinet Member for Environment at the District Council, said: “We know it is still the summer and people are enjoying the warm weather, but bookings are being taken now for these sessions and I would encourage anyone who has an electric blanket to take this opportunity to get it tested for free so that they can stay safe this winter.
“Nationally, old or damaged blankets cause more than 5,000 fires a year and blankets over 10 years old are responsible for 99% of these. Each year, around 20 people are killed and 100 injured as a result of such fires.”

Experts recommend replacement of electric blankets that are over 10 years old or showing signs of wear and tear. When choosing a blanket, buy new and look out for a European Certification Mark such as the BEAB safety mark.

Bookings for electric blanket testing can be made online via the Council’s website, www.westoxon.gov.uk/blankettesting or by calling 01993 861060.

Posted : 05/08/2011 18:44:49

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