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Free electric blanket testing in Stourport

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The first of these events will be held at Stourport Fire Station in Foundry Street, Stourport on Monday 16 September, from 9.30am until 1.00pm.

Further events will follow at Bewdley Fire Station on 17 September and at Kidderminster Fire Station on 18 September.

While Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) and Age UK Wyre Forest are the lead agencies for this initiative, Wyre Forest District Council, Act On Energy, NHS Worcestershire, the Community Housing Group, West Mercia Police, Care & Repair, Support 24 and Worcestershire Telecare will also be attending the event, which is targeted primarily towards older people. As well as getting their electric blankets tested, those attending will also be able to take advantage of free property marking and get advice on home security, health care and energy efficiency, and other services for older people.

Advice on all aspects of fire safety will also be available on the day – particularly the importance of having working smoke alarms fitted in the home and testing them regularly.

Encouraging electric blanket users to bring their blankets along to be safety checked, Caroline Webster, Community Safety Advisor with HWFRS, explained: “Thankfully we have experienced very few incidents in recent years that have been directly attributable to defective electric blankets.

“Despite this, around a quarter of electric blankets tested in Stourport in September last year were found to be unsafe, and so we are running further testing sessions this year to highlight the issue and encourage local residents to bring along their blankets to have them properly checked.”

She urged all electric blanket users to inspect their blankets and their leads on a regular basis, looking out for signs of wear and tear. She warned that a blanket should not be used if it has a worn lead or missing connections, any exposed elements, scorch marks or water damage or any creasing or folding.

She also recommended keeping hold of the manufacturer’s instructions for using the electric blanket as these will advise how to use and store it safely, thus prolonging its life. Ideally electric blankets should be tested every two years and replaced every 10 years.

She urged electric blanket users not to take hot water bottles or drinks to bed with them - as any leaks or spills on the blanket could result in a dangerous mix of water and electricity.

For your FREE blanket test, please make an appointment by calling 01562 512612. Alternatively, a drop in facility will be available on the day for those who are prepared to wait / collect later.