Electric blanket tests in Warwickshire reveal dangers

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Almost half of all electric blankets tested by Warwickshire

County Council Trading Standards failed, the service has

announced.

Each year the service runs a free electric blanket testing

campaign for Warwickshire people aged 50+ in order to

protect residents from old and dangerous electric blankets.

This year’s campaign saw a high failure rate, the result of

a large number of very old electric blankets being tested,

many of which were still in regular use!

Old electric blankets are much more likely to develop

faults that can lead to fires.

Industry guidelines advise consumers to replace their

electric blanket at least every ten years, but some of the

blankets the service was asked to check were over 30 years

old.

Electric blankets wear with use leading to the wiring

becoming broken or kinked. This can cause hotspots to

develop (causing fires) and can be an electrocution hazard.

Many very old blankets have no over-heat protection, a

feature built in to new blankets to prevent them from

overheating and catching fire.

Warwickshire County Councillor Les Caborn, Portfolio Holder

for Community Safety said:

“Our free electric blanket safety campaign is over a decade

old and in that time we have removed from use well over a

thousand very old and unsafe electric blankets.”

“This year we found many electric blankets that were still

in use despite being more than 30 years old and having no

overheating protection.

“I am delighted that this safety campaign continues to be

so popular and well received.”

Results

Venue

Tested

Passed

Failed

Repaired (included in passed figures)

Leamington

89

50 (56%)

39 (44%)

3

Nuneaton

90

54 (60%)

36 (40%)

0

Rugby

93

57 (61%)

36 (39%)

1

Kenilworth

100

54 (54%)

46 (46%)

0

Stratford

82

41 (50%)

41 (50%)

2

Total

454

256 (56%)

198 (44%)

6

The electric blanket testing campaign has now finished but

owners can check the safety of their own electric blankets

by looking for the following warning signs:

· the fabric is worn or frayed

· there are scorch marks anywhere

· the tie tapes are damaged or missing

· the flex is worn or damaged

· any connections are loose

Remember older blankets in regular use are much more likely

to have one or more of the above faults. If your electric

blanket is more than 10 years old, industry guidelines

suggest you should replace it. An old BEAB safety mark (a

round symbol) is an indication that the blanket is more

than ten years old.

For more information visit:

http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/electricblanket

For further information contact:

Simon Cripwell, Trading Standards Officer, (01926) 414039

or 07771 975570. Email: simoncripwell@warwickshire.gov.uk