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Electric blankets fail the safety check

Trading Standards urge residents to check the safety of their blankets this winter.

A number of bedtime horrors were discovered at the latest electric blanket testing session, prompting trading standards to urge residents to check their blankets are safe for the colder nights ahead.

Following two-days of testing in October, 256 blankets were brought in by the public with 56 failing the standard check undertaking by North East Lincolnshire Council’s trading standards team.

These blankets were taken out of circulation because of faults such as damaged heating wires and others did not have the automatic cut out that is now required for electric blankets.

Councillor Dave Bolton, portfolio holder for community safety and neighbourhoods, said: “We had more blankets brought in for testing this year than in previous years, but 20 per cent of blankets failing is a worrying figure.

“I would urge anyone to follow the guidelines when using an electric blanket. It is cheaper to replace your worn electric blanket than it is to replace your family or your home. I would also advise people to get their blankets tested on an annual basis, and if you have any doubts about it, do not use it.”

Jean Cross, from Age UK, said: It is very important that people get their electric blankets tested to ensure their safety. At a time of rising fuel prices people are relying on their electric blankets to keep warm through the night and it is good to know their blankets are safe.

“I would like to applaud trading standards for carrying on this initiative and for all of their hard work.”

To ensure you use your electric blanket safely:

1. Always follow the instructions
2. Never use and electric under-blanket as an over-blanket and vice versa
3. Keep all blankets flat
4. Tie electric under-blankets to the bed or mattress- it stops them slipping and creasing which could damage them
5. Only leave a blanket switched on all night if it has thermostatic controls for safe all night use. Otherwise switch off and disconnect before you get into bed
6. Don’t get blankets wet, if you do, never turn it on to dry it.

Any blanket that has the old BEAB safety mark means that the blanket is 10 years or more old, and does not have the automatic cut out system. This would be a certain fail when tested.

If you have any concerns you can call Citizen’s Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06.

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