Safety first for electric blankets

Free electric blanket safety checks are to being made available later this month.

From September 22, people can get their blankets checked for any issues ahead of the winter.

The initiative, aimed at people aged 55 and over, is being led by Northumberland County Council’s Public Protection Service in partnership with Age UK Northumberland.

Bookings must be made prior to the safety check by phoning (01670) 623783. Arrangements can be made to collect blankets from anyone who is housebound.

Philip Soderquest, acting head of public protection at the council, said: “In 2012, 153 electric blankets failed the test, which was around two-thirds of those submitted.

“Residents should get their electric blankets examined regularly to avoid potentially life threatening faults. Even if blankets appear safe there may be problems that are not easily visible.”

Tracy Collins, head of service development for Age UK Northumberland, said: “We would strongly advise people to ring and make an appointment to take their blanket along to be checked, and if they know of any older person, perhaps a relative or a friend who is housebound, give the helpline a ring and someone will call out to collect their blanket for them – it’s simple thing that will give real peace of mind.”

In the event of blankets failing the tests, brand new replacements will be available at reduced cost.

Coun Dave Ledger, deputy council leader and policy holder for public protection, said: “I’m very pleased we have again decided to undertake this worthwhile initiative with Age UK Northumberland.

“It’s easy to get your blanket checked and have peace of mind. I would appeal to residents to get blankets checked and make sure they are safe in time for this winter.”