Could your electric blanket be a safety risk?

Faulty electric blankets are dangerous

Faulty electric blankets are dangerous

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Trading standards officers have urged local residents to check their electric blankets – after more than one-in-three failed safety checks.

Each autumn, the East Dunbartonshire Trading Standards team invites local people to hand in their electric blankets for a free inspection and this year there were many that should not have been in use.

Of the 76 electric blankets tested, 28 failed – 37 per cent. Last year less than a quarter were found to be health hazards.

There were many reasons for failure, but alarmingly nine of the blankets were beyond 10-years-old. Other reasons included frayed fabric, scorch marks, loose connections and water damage.

The good news for the 28 people whose blankets failed is that they have received Argos vouchers to help replace the faulty goods which have been disposed of.

Funding for this safety testing programme comes from the Electrical Safety Council.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie believes the tests reveal an important safety issue that needs highlighted, especially as the majority of people who took part were older residents.

She said: “I think this is a valuable service that our Trading Standards team provides for the people of East Dunbartonshire.

“By checking electric blankets before winter sets in, we are helping to keep people safe in their own homes.

“This kind of practical help, backed up by information and advice, is a great way to tackle a potentially lethal problem. If you didn’t take part this year it is worth considering the advice on how to make sure your blanket is safe and remember to get free testing next year.”

The Trading Standards team recommends that electric blankets should be tested every three years, replaced every 10 years and that you should never buy a second-hand electric blanket.

They also advise buyers to always check for the British or European Safety Mark on new blankets and to regularly check the blanket and its lead for signs of wear and tear.

For further information call Trading Standards on 0141 574 5772 for a leaflet or read it online at www.esc.org.uk

Alternatively, e-mail the team at trading.standards@eastdunbarton.gov.uk