Northumberland County Council’s Public Protection Service will be carrying out electric blanket testing at a number of venues in the west of the county during the week beginning 24 September 2012.
Testing will be by appointment only: numbers are limited so early booking from 3 September is recommended by telephoning 01670 623870. Arrangements can be made to collect blankets from anyone who is housebound. Although the testing centres are in the west of the county this year, all pensioners in Northumberland can make an appointment to attend.
This free service has been jointly organised by Northumberland County Council’s Trading Standards and Age UK Northumberland, with assistance by Fire and Rescue Service and Handyperson Northumberland.
During each event pensioners can also receive useful information about their consumer and legal rights, will be provided with information that will help protect vulnerable themselves against unscrupulous doorstep traders and find out about the Northumberlandand North Tyneside Trader Register.
The testing days are planned for:
Monday 24 September
All day - Hexham Fire Station, Tyne Mills Industrial Estate, Hexham NE46 1XJ
Tuesday 25 September
All day - Ponteland Fire Station, Callerton Lane, Ponteland, NE20 9EY
Wednesday 26 September
Morning - Prudhoe Fire Station, Front Street, Prudhoe, NE42 5DQ
Afternoon - Allendale Fire Station, Forsterheads, Allendale, NE47 9LG
Thursday 27 September
Morning - Bellingham Fire Station, Bellingham, NE48 2JS
Afternoon - Otterburn Village Hall, Otterburn, NE19 1NP
Friday 28 September
All day – Sainsburys Superstore, Fair Hill, Haltwhistle, NE49 9DZ
In the event of blankets failing the tests, brand new replacements will be available at reduced cost. Funding for this has been provided by Age UK Northumberland.
Trading Standards currently runs the blanket testing on a three year programme; this year testing will be carried out in the west of the county with tests in previous years in the south east and north of the county.
Jimmy Power, Business and Consumer Protection Manager for Northumberland County Council said: “Last year 52%, that was 109, of the electric blankets failed the tests. Although not all electric blankets are deathtraps research indicates that blankets over 10 years old are responsible for the majority of electric blanket fires and so I strongly advise anyone with a blanket of this age or older to arrange to have it checked.”
Fiona Horsman, Head of Operational Services for Age UK Northumberland said “We would strongly advise people to ring and make an appointment to take their blanket along to be checked, and if they know of any older person, perhaps a relative or a friend who is housebound, give the helpline a ring and someone will call out to collect their blanket for them – it’s simple thing that will give real peace of mind’.
Councilor Anita Romer, executive member for Health and Public Protection said: “I’m very pleased we are once again undertaking this worthwhile initiative with our partners. It’s easy to get your blanket checked and have peace of mind. I would appeal to pensioners to get blankets checked and make sure they are safe in time for this winter.”