Free checks for electric blankets

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Residents of the Ribble Valley are being invited to check that their electric blankets are in full working order before the worst of the winter weather hits.

Local charity Age UK Lancashire, working in partnership with Ribble Valley Borough Council, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and Help Direct, will be carrying out free electric blanket checks in Clitheroe and Longridge.

They will take place on Tuesday October 30th at The Old Station, Longridge from 9-15 a.m. to noon and then at Ribble Valley Homes, Clitheroe (opposite Booth’s carpark) from 1-30 to 4-30 p.m.

This free service is open to anyone aged 55 or over, but pre-booking is essential. Trained staff will check that your blanket is safe and if it is not you will be provided with a new blanket free of charge.

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 more than 10 years old. Here are some tips for using electric blankets safely:

Electric blankets should carry the British Standard Kitemark (BSK) and the British Electrotechnical Approvals Board (BEAB) symbol on them.

Don’t fold electric blankets. Protect the wiring inside them by storing them flat or rolled up.

Don’t leave an electric blanket switched on all night, unless it is has controls for safe all night use.

Check whether it is an under or over blanket and use it only for that purpose.

Use the ties on an under-blanket to secure it to the mattress. This prevents slipping and creasing which could damage the elements.

Have your electric blanket tested every three years – many councils run free testing days each year, usually at the end of summer.

Get a new electric blanket at least every 10 years.

To book an appointment to get your blanket checked please call Ribble Valley Borough Council on 01200 425111. If you are unable to make your own way to the testing sites, please get in touch to make alternative arrangements for collection of the blankets.

Age UK Lancashire are carrying out the checks as part of their “Spread the Warmth” campaign, which aims to keep older people 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 3031234 – calls are charged at local rates.