Residents are being urged to book now for free electric blanket safety tests from Bath & North East Somerset Council. This popular service, held in partnership with Avon Fire & Rescue Service, is one of the ways that people can protect themselves against an injury or fire in the home.
The testing will take place from the end of September to the middle of October in Midsomer Norton, Keynsham, and Larkhall and Odd Down in Bath. In addition to the electric blanket testing there will be information stalls from a range of organisations to help residents keep safe, healthy and active.
Councillor David Dixon (Lib-Dem, Oldfield), Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Now is the time to book your blanket in for a test, especially if it’s over three years old, for your own safety and peace of mind – and before the cold weather is upon us. Bath & North East Somerset Council is committed to ensuring that residents feel safe within their homes, therefore it’s important to highlight the dangers of household fires. We want to promote the independence of older people and supporting them to take responsibility for their safety in their own homes is a key part of this.
“Last year Bath & North East Somerset Council held similar events and tested 191 electric blankets. Of these, 38 blankets failed the test as they were mostly blankets over 10 years old, without overheat protectors and no longer meeting current European safety standards.“
Free electric blanket testing near you:
Testing days run from 9.30am to 4pm and booking is essential. To book an appointment call Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Public Protection team on 01225 396759.
* 27 September 2010 – Midsomer Norton Council Chamber
* 29 September 2010 – Keynsham Fire Station
* 7 October 2010 – St Phillip & St James Church, Odd Down, Bath
* 18 October 2010 – New Oriel Hall, Larkhall, Bath.
When should you get your electric blanket tested?
* If you have a blanket over three years old you should aim to have it tested every year.
* If you bought your blanket in the 1970s and 1980s – these blankets do not have an overheat safety device.
* If the wiring in your blanket has moved.
Before you buy an electric blanket ensure that it carries a recognised approvals mark, such as the British Electrotechnical Approvals Board (BEAB) mark, or the International Standard number EN 60967. Buying a second hand electric blanket is dangerous as you will not be able to judge its safety.
The free test offered on electric blankets looks at electrical connections, coverings on the wires and the general state of wear. Each blanket takes about 10 minutes to check properly so it is necessary to make an appointment by calling 01225 396759.
Residents with transport may like to consider offering a lift to a relative, friend or neighbour who would otherwise find it difficult to attend the free sessions, and those without access to transport could consider using community transport schemes like Dial a Ride or Ring and Ride which provide a door-to-door service. For more information on community transport schemes, call Bath & North East Somerset Council 01225 394041.