Fire team test electric blankets

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LANCING residents are being asked to get their electric blankets tested after many were found to be potentially dangerous.

In a recent free service held by West Sussex Fire and Rescue, 44 electric blankets in Lancing Parish Hall were tested on October 23, and 16 of them failed the safety test.

The team hold more than a dozen free testing events around the county between May and December, 2014 – 166 of the 412 electric blankets tested were found potentially dangerous.

Jackie Boyle, community fire safety officer for Fire & Rescue, said: “The results really highlight the value of this free service.

“If any of those faulty blankets had caught fire, there could have been potentially devastating consequences for their owners.

“Nationally, there are around 1,000 fires caused by unsafe electric blankets each year and sadly, some people have lost their lives. We saw a number of very old electric blankets brought in to be tested. Blankets over 10 years old are a particular concern because they don’t have the overheat protection found in newer blankets.”

More safety testing events have been planned for 2015 and anyone who has not had their electric blanket tested in the last two years is urged to take up a free test.

Those caring for older people should consider getting blankets tested on their behalf.

To find your nearest testing venue or for advice, call 0845 872 9719 or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire