Free electric blanket test

Derek Covill, community fire safety officer
Derek Covill, community fire safety officer

ELECTRIC blankets can be deadly but residents in Shoreham and Southwick can make sure theirs are safe.

Firefighters are urging people to take up the free electric blanket test to help them stay safe in their home.

Every year, nationally, there are around 1,000 fires caused by unsafe electric blankets and sadly, some people have even lost their lives

Derek Covill, community fire safety officer

The event is taking place in the George Porter Room at Southwick Community Centre, Southwick Street, Southwick, on Tuesday, April 21, from 9.30am to 4pm.

Derek Covill, community fire safety officer for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Every year, nationally, there are around 1,000 fires caused by unsafe electric blankets and sadly, some people have even lost their lives.

“Elderly people, who may feel the cold more keenly and use their blankets all year round, can be particularly vulnerable.

“Blankets over ten years old are a particular concern because they don’t have the overheat protection found in newer blankets. This safety system cuts power to the blanket in the event of a malfunction, reducing the risk of it catching fire.

“Please think about those people around you – even if you don’t use an electric blanket yourself you may have an elderly relative, friend or neighbour who does and would benefit from this free service.”

The event is being supported by The Southern Co-operative’s online home shopping service, Co-operative Independent Living, which is offering a 20 per cent discount towards the purchase of a new replacement electric blanket for anyone whose blanket is found to be potentially dangerous.

Electric blanket tests are available by appointment only and are on a first come, first served basis. Call free on 0845 872 9719.

Visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire for more information on the safe use and storage of electric blankets.