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Electric blankets found to be unsafe at Bewdley safety test session

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Electric blankets found to be unsafe at Bewdley safety test session

Just under a third of all electric blankets brought along to a safety testing session in Bewdley this morning (Tuesday 28 September) were found to be unsafe.

The electric blanket testing session, held at Bewdley Fire Station, was one of three ‘Home Safe Home’ events in the Wyre Forest area. Around a third of blankets tested at the first of these sessions, held in Stourport last week, also failed safety checks. The Kidderminster event will follow next week.

Representatives from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service and Wyre Forest District Council were joined by Age Concern, Acton Energy, NHS Worcestershire, the Community Housing Group and West Mercia Police at the Bewdley event, aimed primarily at older people. As well as getting their electric blankets tested, those attending were also 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.

They were also given advice on all aspects of fire safety, particularly the importance of having working smoking alarms fitted in the home. The event also generated six home fire safety check referrals.

Community Safety Advisor Caroline Webster said: “Out of the 54 electric blankets tested at the Bewdley session, a total of 17 failed ie just under a third of all those tested were found to be defective in one way or another.”

She said that these latest results closely follow those from the safety session at Stourport last week, where just over a third of electric blankets brought along to be checked failed the tests. As at the Stourport testing event, one free replacement per household was offered to anyone whose electric blanket failed the safety checks. (Note that replacement blankets are subject to availability.)

CSA Webster reminded everyone with an electric blanket to spend a few moments examining it, checking carefully for any signs of wear and tear. She advised that the blanket should not be used if it has any exposed elements, scorch marks or evidence of water damage.

She added: “The last of the three ‘Home Safe Home’ events will take place on Wednesday 6 October at Kidderminster Fire Station in Castle Road, between 9.30am and 3.30pm.

“Anyone is welcome to drop in to find out more about services for older people but it’s important to book in advance if you want to bring along your electric blanket to be tested. Please call 01562 512612 to arrange an appointment.”