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Fire fighters urge electric blanket checks

Owners of electric blankets are being urged to get them checked for safety.

One in three were dangerous when tested last year and some presented fire hazards.

One elderly man in West Sussex died earlier this year in a blaze caused by a faulty blanket.

The free checking session in Horsham will be held at Lavinia House at Dukes Square on October 5.

It is one of several across West Sussex between October 4 to 27 organised by the county’s fire brigade . The other testing centre in Horsham district is at the Fire Station, School Hill, Storrington on October 6.

This year the testing sessions are supported by Dreamland, which is offering a 25% discount off the recommended retail price on their heated blankets presented at the events, to replace electric blankets found to be a potential fire risk.

Jackie Boyle, Community Fire Safety Manager for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Last year we tested 375 electric blankets and more than a third of them carried a potential fire risk. Such a high proportion really highlights the value of getting them checked regularly.

“Sadly, in April this year, a man in his 70s from Littlehampton died as a result of a fire started by an electric blanket. The elderly can be especially vulnerable, which is why we’re urging people to take up the free test.” Booking is by appointment only on a first come first served basis, please call 0845 872 9719 to find your nearest venue. For more information on the safe use and storage of electric blankets please visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire 

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