Staffordshire residents are being urged to make sure their electric blanket is safe to use this autumn and winter by bringing it to a free testing session.
“Nationally, thousands of electric blankets are found to be faulty which could lead to a fire, so ensuring yours is safe is really important."
Risk Reduction Manager Dave Steele.
Staffordshire County Council and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service annually carry out one of the largest testing programmes in the country.
Any blankets that fail the testing will be disposed of but anyone over 60 and living in Staffordshire will be offered a brand new single or double under-blanket as a replacement.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service Risk Reduction Manager, David Steele said: “Nationally, thousands of electric blankets are found to be faulty which could lead to a fire, so ensuring yours is safe is really important. We find that a lot of people fold up their electric blankets when they’re not in use, however this damages the internal wiring, making them dangerous.
“We will be doing the testing throughout September and early October as people generally start pulling out their blankets towards the end of September, once the temperatures start to drop and the nights start drawing in.”
County Councillor Pat Corfield, Cabinet Member for Culture, Communities and Customers said: “Staffordshire County Council takes public safety very seriously and faulty electric blankets pose a real safety hazard. It’s important that people have their blankets tested regularly, so why not come along to one of our free testing sessions?
“Older people in particular can benefit as they will be given a free blanket if their old one is unsafe. In 2010 almost 2,000 blankets were tested throughout Staffordshire with nearly 40% failing the safety test – highlighting the importance of these sessions.”