Electric blankets - get yours tested for safety at free council event on Thursday

PUBLISHED: 10:54 22 November 2013 | UPDATED: 10:57 22 November 2013

If an electric blanket is among your weapons against the cold this winter, make sure they’re safe at a free event next week.

If you use an electric blanket, the council recommends:

Always following the instructions;

Never using an electric underblanket as an electric overblanket;

Keeping all blankets flat;

Tying electric underblankets to the bed or mattress to stop them slipping and creasing, which could damage them;

Only leaving a blanket switched on all night if it has thermostatic controls for safe all-night use;

Keeping your blanket dry. If it does get wet, don’t use it – never switch it on to dry it.

Havering Council’s trading standards officers will be on hand at the Yew Tree Lodge resource centre on Thursday between 9.30am and 2.30pm to test blankets for electrical faults and other safety issues. London Fire Brigade staff will be offering free smoke alarm fittings and home safety checks at the same time.

Last year, half the blankets brought to the session failed the safety tests.

Anyone who can’t make it on the day can arrange for their blanket to be collected by calling the council.

Cabinet member for public protection Cllr Lesley Kelly said: “I urge people to book their place at the testing day or arrange a collection by ringing the council.

“It’s crucial that those who use electric blankets make sure they are safe to use and as winter approaches now is the best time to do so.

“If the condition of your blanket is allowed to deteriorate, there is the possibility of electric shocks or electrical burns, which could cause significant damage or even be fatal.

“So if you’re in any doubt about the safety of your electric blanket make sure you get it checked out.”

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