One in three leccy blankets 'unsafe'

One in three electric blankets tested during recent safety checks by Trading Standards and Suffolk Fire Service have proved so dangerous they had to be destroyed.

One in three electric blankets tested during recent safety checks by Trading Standards and Suffolk Fire Service have proved so dangerous they had to be destroyed.

These potentially lethal blankets were condemned and safety chiefs are now urging the public to check any electric blanket they have at home and, if in doubt, chuck it out.

Peter Monk, member of Suffolk County Council's executive committee, said: "Every dangerous electric blanket condemned means one more person can sleep a little safer in their bed. It's encouraging that there were 10 per cent fewer dangerous blankets than last year but we know there are still too many of them out there.

"Anyone who missed the opportunity to get their blankets tested can do their own simple checks at home and I would urge them to do this. If you have a blanket on the bed or in a cupboard, give it the once over tonight and follow the safety checklist. Remember faulty electric blankets cause around 5000 fires a year in the UK - don't let yours be one of them."


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People are advised to throw out their blanket if:

It is over ten years old

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The fabric is worn or frayed

There are any scorch marks anywhere on the blanket

It originally had tie tapes that are now worn or missing

Any connections are loose

There is any doubt at all over its safety.

Last month's years testing saw 623 electric blankets tested, at seven venues in Suffolk. Of these:

39 per cent were unsafe and condemned - 10 per cent lower than in 2001

12 per cent had minor defects and were repaired on the spot

49 per cent were in a safe condition – 10 per cent higher than 2001.

The most common fault was lack of overheat protection, followed by unsafe plugs.

During the testing over 300 local people were given vouchers for a half-price new blanket.

The figures show a marked drop in unsafe blankets in Ipswich, due to high numbers visiting testing sessions in previous years. Some blankets surrendered at sessions were up to 30-40 years old.

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