Welcome to Septembrrr! Electric blanket tests start this month in South Lakes (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Welcome to Septembrrr! Electric blanket tests start this month in South Lakes
8:00am Sunday 1st September 2013 in News
IT may only have just turned September but free electric blanket testing sessions start at the end of the month.
Offered free by Cumbria County Council's Trading Standards and Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, it's to prepare for the colder nights.
Safety checks will be carried out by qualified staff who can fix minor faults.
If any blankets fail, a free under-blanket version will be provided.
Residents can take their blanket to be tested, by appointment only, between 9am-5pm on the following dates:
Monday 30 September - Committee Room 2, County Offices, Kendal
Tuesday 1 October - Victoria Hall, Grange-over-Sands
Wednesday 2 October - Methodist Church Hall, Ulverston
The authorities say testing is strictly by appointment only with limited spaces available. Contact Trading Standards on 01539 713594.
National fire statistics show that electric blankets account for over 5,000 fires a year with blankets over 10 years old posing a particular danger.
During testing sessions over previous years, nearly half the blankets in Cumbria failed.
Among the common issues are problems such as defective overheating protection, exposed wires or failing insulation.
Although electric blankets have to comply with strict safety standards when they are sold, they do wear with age and can become damaged.
Improper storage during the summer is one of the main reasons for blankets developing faults, says the county council.
Coun Barry Doughty, cabinet member for community safety and local services, said: “We all want residents to keep warm and safe this winter. Faulty and old electric blankets carry a very real risk of causing fires and personal injury, often to the most vulnerable people.
"I hope that people who own an electric blanket will take advantage of this free service and book an appointment to get their blanket checked before the winter. The statistics show a simple safety check can help to save lives.”
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