Hazardous electric blankets discovered in Lowestoft

OVER 60 highly dangerous electric blankets in Suffolk have failed safety checks by Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service and Suffolk Trading Standards, including 12 from Lowestoft.

With help and support from Age UK and the Electrical Safety Council, 82 blankets were tested in the town, while nearly 350 blankets were tested across the county, between 5 to 14 September.

Councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for public protection, said: 'Appliances which are not maintained could easily start a fire, destroy homes and cost lives. Electric blankets are the cause of over a thousand fires in the UK every year and some have resulted in deaths. This year's campaign has prevented more than 60 potentially devastating house fires.

'However I want to stress that there are still old electric blankets in homes across Suffolk which may not be safe for use and I would urge anyone concerned to contact the Fire and Rescue service immediately to organise a Safer Home Visit.'

In the last ten years Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service and Suffolk Trading Standards have tested over four thousand electric blankets. Of those tested almost half were found to be potentially lethal and were destroyed.

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The tests were carried out across Ipswich, Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill and owners of failed electric blankets were given replacements.

• Blankets should be tested routinely every three years. If you would like to receive a free Safer Home Visit, please contact Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service on 01473 260588.

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