Local News from North & South Tyneside

Free Electric Blanket Safety Checks

Residents are being offered the chance to have their electric blankets safety checked for free ahead of the winter months.

The free safety tests are available from Monday 25 September in a partnership between South Tyneside Council and Age Concern Tyneside South.

Residents can take their electric blankets to be tested while they wait at Ocean Road Community Association, on:

  • Wednesday 27 September, between 10am and 3.30pm.
  • Thursday 28 September, between 10am and 3.30pm.

Blankets can also be dropped off on:

  • Monday 25 September, between 10.30am and 2.30pm, at Jarrow Town Hall, to be collected the following week on Monday 2 October, between 10.30am and 2.30pm.
  • Tuesday 26 September, between 10am and 2.30pm, at South Shields Town Hall, to be collected the following week on Tuesday 3 October, between 10.30am and 2.30pm.

It is important that all leads, controls and plugs associated with the electric blankets are brought along for testing.

No blankets will be accepted for testing after 2.30pm.

Councillor Jim Foreman, Lead Member for Housing and Community Safety, said: “Winter is just around the corner and many people will be looking to use their electric blankets over the colder months.

“While the majority of electric blankets will be perfectly safe, the condition of some may have deteriorated and become faulty which can risk injury and fire.

“We are urging all local people, especially our older residents, to take advantage of the free opportunity to have their electric blankets checked over by the professionals to ensure they are in good working order.

“The checks will not only help to reduce fire risk, residents can also rest assured that they will stay warm and safe this winter.”

Residents are advised that:

  • The blankets will be checked by Gems Electric Blanket Testing;
  • The blankets must be in working order at the time of the test;
  • Tests cannot be offered for heat pads or heated foot pads;
  • Over-blankets found to fail testing can be returned for use as a regular blanket only. All electrical components will be removed;
  • Any under-blankets found to fail testing will not be returned;
  • The team recommends that any blankets under three years old are not tested as this may invalidate the warranty of the product. Should residents have any concerns about a blanket that is under three years old, they should contact the manufacturer direct.

Residents can also make some simple checks before using. These include:

  • Checking the fabric is not worn or frayed;
  • Looking for scorch marks or discolouration on the fabric;
  • Making sure wires are not visible;
  • Checking for damage to the cord.

For further information on electric blanket testing contact the Council’s Trading Standards team on (0191) 424 7896.