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Free electric blanket safety checks   ()

Free electric blanket safety checks are being offered to residents.

 The checks, part of a joint home safety scheme run by West Oxfordshire District Council and Oxfordshire County Council, are taking place on 4 October in Witney and 18 October in Chipping Norton.
 
Last year, 178 blankets were tested in the district and 34 (19 per cent) failed.
 
And in the last five years, of around 1,000 blankets tested, more than 20 per cent have failed.
 
Cllr Carol Reynolds, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said, “Electric blankets are a common cause of fires but proper testing can help avoid that.
 
“These checks will help residents feel confident their blanket will operate safely. But if there is any doubt or a blanket is more than 10 years old, the best advice is to buy a new one.”
 
Old or damaged electric blankets cause more than 5,000 fires a year in the UK. Each year around 20 people are killed and 100 injured as a result of such fires. Research has shown blankets that are 10 years old or more are responsible for 99% of these fires.
 
Danger signs include: worn or frayed fabric; scorch marks; tie tapes damaged; worn or damaged flex and damaged or displaced heating wires.
 
It is advised to always buy new and look out for a European Certification Mark such as the BEAB safety mark.
 
Safety check appointments must be pre-booked and are done on a first-come, first served basis. To book call 01993 861000.