Test out your electric blanket!

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Coleraine Borough Council’s Home Safety Officer, also safety officer for Ballymoney and Moyle Councils, is encouraging local residents to have their electric blankets checked, before the winter season arrives.

A free check of your electric blanket will be available on 21st of October at Coleraine Borough Council’s Cloonavin Headquarters from 10am to 4pm.

Following a series of safety events, accident prevention campaigners have stated that electric blankets are putting too many people across Northern Ireland at risk of injury and fire. Nearly three-quarters of electric blankets tested by members of the Home Accident Prevention (HAP), failed safety checks last year.

David Adams, Home Safety Officer for Coleraine Borough Council, Ballymoney and Moyle Councils commented: “HAP Coleraine is urging all electric blanket owners to have their blankets serviced regularly. A total of 1,194 blankets were tested across the country from September to November in 2013.

“Of these blankets, 870 or 73 per cent failed the tests because of faulty or damaged enclosures which insulate the heating elements. Other failings included 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 is 12 years old. A handful of blankets that were tested were more than 40-years-old! Many were more than 20-years-old, all 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. HAP groups from Coleraine, Ballymoney and Moyle are urging all electric blanket owners to have their blankets tested regularly as we will do it free of charge!

“Professionals will be on hand to support and advise in everyway possible, to ensure it is safe, I encourage everyone to make the call and come in to have their electric blanket checked on the 21st in Coleraine.”

The Home Accident Prevention Group will be in Coleraine Borough Council Civic Headquarters on Tuesday 21st October 2014, from 10am to 4pm and will be located in the Bann Gallery, 66 Portstewart Rd, Coleraine, BT52 1EY. For further details, contact 028 7034 7171.

The HAP team will be at Moyle District Council on Wednesday 22nd October 2014, from 10am to 4pm at Sheskburn House, 7 Mary St, Ballycastle. For further information telephone 028 2076 2225. The HAP team will also be at Ballymoney Borough Council on Thursday 23rd October 2014 from 10am until 4pm, located in the Cramsie Room, Ballymoney Townhall, Ballymoney. For further details telephone 028 2766 0257.

It is advised to telephone in advance and book a slot to confirm attendance to have the testing completed. Further information can be found on Coleraine Borough Council’s website, www.colerainebc.gov.uk. For further information on safety in your home, contact David Adams, Home Safety Officer for Coleraine, Ballymoney and Moyle Councils on 028 2766 0277, 078 4197 0332 or by email on david.adams@ballymoney.gov.uk.