FIREFIGHTERS WANT TO MAKE YOU SAFE IN BED.
FREE electric blanket tests are being held in October by West Sussex County Council Fire and Rescue Service.
Jackie Boyle, Community Fire and Road Safety Officer, said: “Every year there are approximately 1000 fires caused by faulty electric blankets. Around 20 people are killed and 250 injured.
“So, don't take a chance this winter – get your blanket tested. We’ll do it for free.
“Last year in West Sussex 39 blankets out of 629 were found to be dangerous and 35 per cent failed due to other faults.
"Inspections of electric blankets are recommended every three years. But you should also regularly check it yourself for signs of wear and tear, scorch marks, loose connections or any damage to the flex.”
Always buy new, never second-hand blankets, and always follow the manufacturers instructions, said Jackie.
“Do not use the blanket when it has been folded or becomes creased. Don't use a hot water bottle at the same time and never touch the blanket with wet hands or feet, or use the blanket if it's wet or damp,” she said.
Jackie is also warning people to take care when using heated Wheat Bags, which can be warmed in the microwave and used in a similar way to hot water bottles.
"Wheat bags are a good way of keeping warm. But they can be very dangerous if used incorrectly.
“We urge people to always follow manufacturers instructions and ensure these bags are not heated for too long in the microwave. Once they have become overheated, they can start a rapid smouldering process and can reach extremely high temperatures.
“They have been known to cause serious injuries so you should always follow manufacturers instructions when heating and using them, and regularly check them for scorch marks and signs of wear and tear."
Peter Evans, County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “Our firefighters want everyone in West Sussex to sleep safely this winter.
“But we cannot afford to be complacent where electrical safety is concerned. To ensure a warm and safe winter, I would urge all electric blanket users to take advantage of this free service.”
Tests are taking place between 9.30am-1pm and 1.30pm-4.30pm at-
Bognor Regis Fire Station, West Meads Drive, – Tuesday October 6
Chichester: St Paul ’s Church, Churchside – Monday October 5
Crawley Fire Station, Ifield Avenue – Thursday October 15
East Grinstead Fire Station, London Road – Monday October 12
East Preston Fire Station, North Lane - Wednesday October 7
Haywards Heath Fire Station, Mill Green Road – Friday October 16
Horsham: Lavinia House, Dukes Square, Denne Road – Wednesday October 14
Midhurst Fire Station, New Road, - Thursday October 8
Shoreham Community Fire Station, Stoney Lane – Tuesday October 13
Worthing Fire Station, Ardsheal Road – Friday October 9
To book an appointment please call 01243 642124. All venues have disabled access.