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Council call for residents to get their electric blankets tested

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Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, working in partnership with local Home Accident Prevention Groups (HAP) is inviting residents to get their electric blankets tested ahead of the coming Autumn and Winter seasons.

Nearly three-quarters of electric blankets tested by Home Accident Prevention groups (HAP) last year failed safety checks. Council and Home Accident Prevention Groups (HAP) are now urging all electric blanket owners to have their blankets serviced regularly.

David Adams, Home Safety Officer at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council said, ‘Electric blankets are putting too many people across Northern Ireland at risk of injury and fire. Council would like to encourage residents of the Borough to bring their blankets along to its designated testing areas and have it tested.

‘Blankets can be tested at the following locations; Sheskburn House, Ballycastle Office, 7 Mary Street, Ballycastle on Monday 28th September 2015  from 10.00am until 4.00pm, to book your space telephone 028 2076 2225; Cramsie Room, Ballymoney Townhall, Ballymoney on Wednesday 30th September 2015 from 10.00am until 4.00pm, to book your space telephone 028 2766 0257;  Bann Gallery, Coleraine Office, 66 Portstewart Rd, Coleraine from 10.00am until 4.00pm, to book your space telephone 028 7034 7171.

‘Electric-blanket-related injuries and fires typically happen because people are using faulty blankets or do not use their blankets properly. I’d encourage anyone using an electric blanket to get your blanket tested regularly.’

‘A total of 1,194 blankets were tested across Northern Ireland from September until November in 2013. Of these blankets, 870 (73 per cent) failed the tests because of faulty/damaged enclosures – which insulate the heating elements, faulty power cords, no overheat protection, or faulty controllers. In 2010, the failure rate in similar safety testing events was around 60 per cent.

‘The average age of failing blankets was twelve years old. A handful of blankets were more than forty years-old, and many were more than twenty years-old, dating back to a time before adequate overheat protection was included as standard. The majority of people who had blankets tested were over the age of sixty.’

For further information on electric blanket testing and Home Safety, please contact David Adams, Home Safety Officer at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council on 028 2766 0277 or visit www.causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk.

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