OLDER and disabled people are being offered free electric blanket checks and money off replacements if they are faulty as part of a winter safety initiative by Nottinghamshire County Council.
The checks will be carried out in Sutton on 24th January and are part of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Keep Warm this Winter campaign, which aims to cut winter deaths.
Faulty electric blankets have caused nine house fires in Nottinghamshire since April 2009, all of which could have been prevented.
If you or a family member uses an electric blanket and would like to attend one of the events, contact Trading Standards at Nottinghamshire County Council on 01623 452005 to make an appointment in advance. Details of the event location will be provided at the time of booking.
Owners of electric blankets which are found to be faulty will be given different options about getting a new one, which could include a direct replacement or discount vouchers - subject to availability.
Coun Mick Murphy, cabinet member for community safety at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “Electric blankets can be a great way to stay warm if they are used and stored correctly. However when blankets are old or if they’re folded over and over again, they can be dangerous - which can have deadly consequences.
“At the last testing event we organised, our trading standards officers were shocked to find someone turn up with a home made electric blanket which someone had created by sewing copper wire between two blankets which heated up when it was plugged in. Fortunately, they were able to convince the person to hand over the blanket for disposal.”
Further information about electric blanket safety is available from the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service website at www.notts-fire.gov.uk/D07DE2CA19B0431DA95587824EC2BC8C.asp