Even though it’s only August, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is looking ahead to winter!
It’s arranged a series of sessions where you can get electric blankets tested for free.
If you have had an electric blanket for a number of years, or it is showing signs of age such as frayed material, you can bring it along to get it checked. Remember to bring the controllers so those can be checked too!
As well as having the opportunity to get advice and information on other areas of fire safety within your home there will representatives from local fuel poverty services who will be able to provide advice on keeping warm this winter.
Safeguarding Co-ordinator & Senior Community Safety Administrator Alex Haywood said:
‘It is really important to ensure your blanket is safe for use this winter.
You can get it tested for free at any of our events across East Sussex and Brighton & Hove this Autumn.
At last year’s event, we tested 570 blankets. Out of these blankets, there was a failure rate of 30% meaning 173 blankets were identified as being unsafe for use.
We were able to make the owners aware of the dangers and with their consent dispose of the unsafe blankets.’
Top tips on storing your electric blanket
Even when your blanket is not in use, you can leave it on the bed all year round or place it flat on a spare bed. If you put the blanket away, it should be stored as the manufacturer recommends or as follows:
- Loosely fold, or roll, it in a towel or plastic bag and store the blanket in a cool dry place.
- Let the blanket cool down before folding.
- Don't use any moth-proofing chemicals.
- Don't place heavy items on top of the blanket while it is being stored.
Further safety tips
- Always buy new when choosing an electric blanket - never buy second-hand blankets, they may not be safe and you can't be sure they meet current safety requirements.
- Always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions before use.
- Examine your blanket regularly for signs of wear or damage
- Never use an electric underblanket as an overblanket (or vice versa).
- Don't use the blanket while it's still folded or creased.
- Don't use a hot water bottle at the same time as using your electric blanket.
- Don't touch the blanket if you have wet hands or feet, and never use the blanket if it's wet or damp.
- Don't insert or use pins to hold the blanket in place on the bed.