Book your electric blanket safety test
Published on 18th September 2012
Sandwell Council's trading standards officers are once again helping residents sleep safe in their beds this winter.
This year electric blanket testing has been sponsored by the Electrical safety Council's (ESC) Fire Safety Fund, which supports electrical fire prevention schemes at local level that aim to effectively tackle the causes of electrically related fires.
This funding has allowed the service to carry out testing at appropriate venues and source free replacement blankets for any residents whose blanket fails the testing.
As winter approaches and the weather starts to turn cold once more, Sandwell residents who are thinking about getting their electric blankets out can get them safety checked for free in October.
Officers will be touring the borough carrying out testing and are urging residents to get their electric blankets tested now rather than risk using an unsafe blanket.
Last year a total of 234 electric blankets were tested and a total of 36 (15%) blankets were found to be unsafe.
Safety checks are available free of charge to Sandwell residents and are carried out by appointment only between 9.30am and 5pm at the following venues:
- Monday 1 October - Sandwell Council House, Freeth Street, Oldbury
- Tuesday 2 October - Blackheath Methodist Centre, High Street, Rowley Regis
- Wednesday 3 October - Wednesbury Town Hall, Holyhead Road
- Thursday 4 October -
St Mary's Church, St Mary's Road, Bearwood
- Friday 5 October - The Public, New Street, West Bromwich
Places are limited so please call 0121 569 6535 or 0121 569 6601 as soon as possible to book your free test.
Councillor Ian Jones, cabinet member for neighbourhood services, said: "I am very pleased that trading standards have been sponsored this year by the Electrical Safety Council and are able to continue to provide this valuable service.
"Saving lives must be everyone's priority and I therefore urge anyone who uses an electric blanket, or knows of someone who does, to ring the number below and book an appointment."
The council's trading standards manager Bob Charnley said: "We have provided the free tests for the past 10 years.
"Demand is high as all of the appointments are usually taken up and even if only a few blankets are found to be unsafe or dangerous that is a few less fires which the fire service has to deal with and it may have prevented serious injury or loss of life."
"The ESC's primary objective is to help people stay safe around electricity and sadly fires caused by faulty electric blankets are not uncommon," said Lorraine Carney, senior campaigns manager at the ESC.
"We are particularly keen to assist vulnerable people, such as the elderly, who may be reliant on electric blankets to keep them warm in the winter- so we are delighted to support Sandwell trading standards and their initiative in this area."
For further safety advice on electric blankets go to the ESC's website and click on 'Guides and Advice' where you can download a free 'electric blanket safety' leaflet, or telephone the consumer helpline on 0203 463 5100.
Representatives from age UK Sandwell, Ideal for All, Agewell and West Midlands Fire Service will also be available to provide free advice.