Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Hundreds more people will sleep safely this winter thanks to free electric blanket checks

Thursday, 17 October 2013

L-R: Lynton Jones, Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Officer, checks Cllr Roy Perry’s electric blanket at Romsey Fire Station

566 people have so far had their electric blankets tested since Hampshire County Council's Trading Standards Service started offering free safety checks this autumn.

Trading Standards has teamed up with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and local district and borough councils to offer people the chance to book up for free safety checks at venues across the county from September. There are three events left.

Councillor Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council and member for the Romsey Extra Ward, was among those residents to take advantage of the safety checks which took place at Romsey Fire Station.

Cllr Perry, said: "I am happy to say that my electric blanket passed. I would urge everyone who owns an electric blanket to book their slot via Hampshire Trading Standards and take advantage of this excellent free opportunity to get it checked. Spaces are still available, and as the winter nights draw in it is not only important to stay warm, but to stay safe. Getting electric blankets checked really can save lives as the older the blanket, the more likely it is to develop a fault and these free tests at venues across the county offer peace of mind that blankets meet vital safety standards."

In the last 16 years, around 17,000 blankets have been tested in Hampshire with approximately 45% of these failing the safety checks. Meanwhile, since September, an average of 29% of blankets checked have failed these important safety checks. The main problems are that many blankets are over a decade old, have poor wiring, faulty controls or offer no protection against over-heating.

Many people simply lose track of how long they have owned their blankets and because they warm up, they assume that they are working correctly.

The ultimate danger of leaving electric blankets unchecked is the risk of house fires, which can be caused if a fault goes undetected.

The safety checks are only available by pre-booked appointment and spaces are limited. To reserve a place telephone 01962 833 358.

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