Herefordshire residents invited to electric blanket testing sessions
The events, targeted primarily towards older people, will be held at fire stations across Herefordshire (Hereford, Leominster, Ross on Wye, Ledbury, Ewyas Harold and Kington) and will involve Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) and Age UK.
Those attending can take their electric blankets along to be tested and can also get advice on a range of other services for older people. Advice on all aspects of fire safety will also be available on the day – particularly the importance of having correctly fitted and workingsmoke alarms in the home.
Pete Hope, Community Safety Advisor with HWFRS, said: “Electric blanket safety testing has become a key part of our community safety calendar. Last year, just under a third of electric blankets we tested were found to be defective in one way or another, some of them presenting a significant risk to the user.
“We were able to offer replacement blankets for those found to be unsafe, and this is something we will be repeating this year, whilst stocks last.”
He confirmed that the dates of this year’s free electric blanket testing sessions in Herefordshire are as follows, all between 10.30am and 3.30pm:
Monday 30 September - Hereford Fire Station, St Owen Street, Hereford
Tuesday 01 October – Leominster Fire Station, Broad Street, Leominster
Wednesday 02 October – Ross-on-Wye Fire Station, Gloucester Road, Ross-on-Wye
Thursday 03 October – Ledbury Fire Station, Bye Street, Ledbury
Friday 04 October – Ewyas Harold Fire Station, Elmdale, Ewyas Harold
Monday 10 October – Kington Fire Station, Churchill Road, Kington
He urged electric blanket users to call 01432 347030 to book an appointment in advance. Alternatively, a drop in facility will be available on the day for those who are prepared to wait / collect later.
He also urged electric blanket users who were unable to get along to one of the testing sessions to be sure to inspect their blankets on a regular basis. He said: “Check the blanket and lead for signs of wear and tear, and stop using it immediately if the lead is worn, or you can see any missing connections, exposed elements, scorch marks or water damage, or any creasing or folding.”
He recommended that electric blankets should be tested every year and replaced every 10 years, and that the manufacturer’s instructions are carefully followed to ensure safe use and storage.
He also 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.