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Check your electric blanket is safe at events across Cornwall
9:00am Sunday 15th September 2013 in News
As temperatures fall and the nights draw in, Trading Standards and Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service are running electrical fire safety awareness events across Cornwall
The events coincide with Electrical Fire Safety Week and will allow people to test the safety of their blankets, which are the cause of numerous fires every year.
Electric blanket owners are urged to call 0800 3581 999 to book a slot at one of the five events where testing will be carried out strictly by appointment only.
The blanket will need to be brought to the venue and will be tested while you wait. Events will run from 10 am to 5pm and you will be given a specific appointment time when you book.
Mark Pratten from Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service said: “There has been a large increase in the numbers of electrical appliances that can now be found in the home, including electric blankets. Whilst many of these products are perfectly safe when used correctly, there is still an increased risk of fires in the home due to faulty or damaged electrical products or where electrical sockets are overloaded.
CFRS attended 294 accidental dwelling fires in 2012, with 182 of these fires occurring as a result of a faulty or misused electrical appliance or overloading of sockets. National statistics indicate that in 2012-13, 43 people died in accidental electrical dwelling fires in England and a further 3,463 were injured.
"It is important that we continually promote electrical fire safety so that we can reduce the number of incidents and injuries. Worn or damaged electric blankets pose a serious fire safety risk. So it’s important to keep your blanket serviced and well maintained.”
There will be Cornwall Fire and Rescue and Trading Standards staff on hand throughout the day to provide advice on electrical appliance and fire safety.
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service give the following advice to prevent incidents involving electrical appliances:-
• Check toasters are clean and placed away from curtains and kitchen roll.
• Never overload sockets; keep to one plug per socket
• Keep electrical leads and appliances away from water and never use if damaged
• Don’t leave washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers on if nobody is at home
• Keep your eyes peeled for signs of dangerous or loose wiring such as such as scorch marks, hot plugs and sockets, fuses that blow or circuit breakers that trip for no obvious reason or flickering lights
• Store electric blankets flat, rolled up or loosely folded to prevent damaging the internal wiring
• Unplug electric blankets before you get into bed
• Take special care with portable heaters; secure them so they can’t fall over and keep them a safe distance from combustible materials such as curtains and furniture. Never use portable heaters for drying clothes.
• Have your central heating system serviced by a qualified engineer.
• Have a working smoke alarm on each level of your home to provide early warning in the event of a fire.
Find more home fire safety advice on our website: www.cornwall.gov.uk/fire.
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