Issued By
Cumbria County Council

ELECTRIC BLANKET TESTING 16 TO 21 SEPTEMBER 2023 - RESULTS

 

Cumbria Trading Standards are alarmed at the results of their Electric Blanket Testing Event held during the week of 16 to 21 September 2002.

Only 197 of the 624 electric blankets submitted initially passed with no faults.  425 of the electric blankets tested failed to comply with current safety requirements, and of these 388 were unfit to be used again.  In addition two blankets submitted were incapable of being tested.

The event was run in partnership with care agencies across the County with an emphasis on reaching elderly and disabled users (see attached chart).  Faulty blankets present a real risk of causing house fires.  Home Office statistics indicate that there are between 800 and 1000 fires each year caused by electric blankets.  In 1996, the last year for which detailed analysis is available, these fires resulted in 19 fatalities and 91 non-fatal injuries.  20% of the injuries required admission to hospital, for an average of 4 days’ treatment.  Older people and those on low incomes are most likely to have an electric blanket, and people over 60 years of age are most at risk of a blanket-related fire.

Cumbria County Councillor Jack Richardson, Community Safety Spokesperson states:

“I am very worried at the dangerous condition of many of the blankets submitted for test.  There are still a lot of electric blankets in the County that are a serious safety risk.

People with worn or damaged blankets need to replace them immediately.  All electric blankets should be checked regularly for faults and maintained in line with manufacturers’ instructions.

I ask everyone with elderly friends or relatives to check that they do not have an electric blanket that could put their life at risk”.

 

Trading Standards  thanks all other agencies who helped to make the event possible:

Branches of Age Concern across the County

Cumbria Fire Service

and others who helped in the collection and delivery arrangements.

 

Location of Check

No. of blankets tested

No. of blankets passed with no faults

No. of blankets failed

No. of blankets repaired and made safe

No. of blankets found to be unsafe & which should not be in use (not repairable)

Barrow

*115

32

*83

8

*75

Carlisle

90

30

60

7

53

Cleator Moor

108

41

67

6

61

Grange

103

25

78

4

74

Penrith

126

41

85

5

80

Workington

80

28

52

7

45

Total

*622

197

*425

37

*388

 

*   plus 2 blankets that were incapable of being tested – total 624

 

For further information contact:

B Procter on 01539 773573 or P Thomas on 01539 773591