Get your electric blanket tested - now!

Ballymoney; Tuesday 18th September 10Aam-4pm. In the Shiels Room, Ballymoney Townhall, Ballymoney. 028 2766 0257

Moyle; Thursday 20th September 10am-4pm. Sheskburn House, Moyle Council Offices, 7 Mary St, Ballycastle. 028 2076 2225

Coleraine; Monday 17th September 10am-4pm.In the Bann Gallery, Coleraine Council Offices, 66 Portstewart Rd, Colerain, BT52 1EY. 028 7034 7171

Phone to book a time slot and get your blanket tested!!

Electric blankets are putting too many people across Northern Ireland at risk of injury and fire, say accident prevention campaigners following a series of safety events.

Nearly three-quarters of electric blankets tested by Home Accident Prevention groups (HAP) last year failed safety checks. HAP Coleraine is now urging all electric blanket owners to have their blankets serviced regularly. A total of 1,194 blankets were tested across the country from September – November in 2011. 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 12 years old. A handful of blankets were more than 40-years-old, and many were more than 20-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 60. Many of those with faulty blankets were given a replacement or a voucher towards the cost of a new one.

Electric-blanket-related injuries and fires typically happen because people are using faulty blankets or do not use their blankets properly. Get your blanket tested regularly - at least every three years.