Older people in the Ribble Valley started gearing up for winter with free electric blanket safety checks held in Clitheroe and Longridge.
Nearly 100 older people living in the Ribble Valley had their blankets tested in preparation for the winter months, with any blankets that failed being replaced free of charge.
Linda Salazar, Services Co-ordinator for Age UK Lancashire in the Ribble Valley, said: “As part of our ‘Spread the Warmth’ campaign to keep older people warm and well through the winter months, we were delighted to be able to safety test 98 electric blankets in total.
“Of those 77% failed to meet safety standards and were replaced. The oldest blanket still in use was 45 years old and had no automatic overheat protection system! We’re really grateful to the volunteers who helped us stage the events and who helped with publicising it. Thanks also to Ribble Valley Homes and The Old Station in Longridge who provided the venues.”
The electric blanket testing events were funded by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and organised by Age UK Lancashire in conjunction with partners Help Direct and Ribble Valley Borough Council. People attending also received advice on fire safety in the home; an opportunity to discuss energy saving tips from Community Futures; information from Help Direct and details of services products and events from Age UK Lancashire. Winter Warmth packs were also given out to those aged 80+ by Ribble Valley Borough Council.
As winter approaches, many people will turn on electric blankets to keep them warm, but old or damaged blankets pose a significant fire risk. If your blanket has fraying fabric, scorch marks, exposed elements, creasing/folding, soiling, loose connections or any other type of damage, have it replaced. If the blanket has a BEAB safety mark it should also be replaced as this means it is over ten years old.
Age UK Lancashire is also holding a Stay Warm This Winter event on Thursday November 15th at its office at 18a Castlegate, Clitheroe, providing information on saving money on energy bills and staying warm and well through the winter months. For more information on Age UK Lancashire’s local services and practical tips on winter warmth call 0300 303 1234 or visit your local office.