Warwickshire residents can sleep safer in their beds as a result of the annual Electric Blanket testing campaign conducted by Warwickshire Trading Standards Service. The results revealed the highest pass rate in the last five years, with 82% of blankets passing the test.
Five years ago the failure rate was 32% compared to this year’s rate of 18%. During that period some 647 blankets were taken out of circulation from a total of 2366 tested in the last five years.
This year’s testing programme was undertaken at venues in Stratford, Leamington Spa, Rugby, Kenilworth and Nuneaton. A collection service was offered to elderly people who were unable to get to the test centres. 456 blankets were tested of which 80 failed. Reasons for those failures include no overheat safety cut off protection (especially in older blankets), deterioration in wiring or problems with thermostats and elements.
Mark Ryder, Head of Warwickshire Trading Standards said
“I am delighted the number of blankets failing the test is going down and that so many potentially dangerous blankets have been taken out of circulation.
Unsafe electric blankets have the potential to start fires in the home and risk lives. By continuing this annual programme I am hopeful we can reduce the numbers of hazardous electric blankets further and reduce the risk to people and communities.“
People that were unable to take advantage of the testing programme can check their own blankets by looking for the following warning signs:
* The fabric is worn or frayed
* There are scorch marks anywhere
* The tie tapes are damaged or missing
* The flex is worn or damaged
* Any connections are loose
Older blankets that are in regular use are more likely to have one or more of the above faults.
Electric blanket safety advice and guidance is available from Warwickshire Trading Standards website on: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards.