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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Electric Blankets Tested

25/11/2009

A joint effort to help the county's residents stay safe this winter has proved to be a great success.

Staffordshire County Council's Trading Standards and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have been busy testing electric blankets free of charge at many locations throughout the county during the past few months.

"This shows that year on year the electric blanket campaign is having a long term effect on the safety of the community."

Angela Leigh, Risk Reduction Manager for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Over 2,030 blankets were tested this year, with 36% failing.

The blankets that did fail were replaced free of charge for Staffordshire residents aged over 60.

Testing centres were located at community venues throughout the county with additional drop off and collection points.

"Over 500 more blankets were tested this year than in 2008," said County Councillor Ben Adams, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture.

"It's good to see that so many Staffordshire residents see this as an essential service and are aware of the potential fire risks linked to using unsafe electric blankets.

"That's why it’s so important that we continue to work with the Fire Service to educate and inform about this."

"More than 700 electric blankets failed the test and were replaced with new blankets," added Angela Leigh, Risk Reduction Manager from Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service.

"All of these old and unsafe blankets were still in use and were potential accidental fires just waiting to happen.

"This shows that year on year the electric blanket campaign is having a long term effect on the safety of the community."

Older or vulnerable Staffordshire residents can receive a free Home Fire Risk Check which identifies the potential fire risks in the home, and making sure that smoke alarms work correctly.

The home visit offers advice on how to reduce or prevent fire risks and assists in making an escape plan in case a fire should break out. For more information telephone FREEPHONE 0800 0241 999.