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Blanket checks could save lives.

Potentially lifesaving checks on electric blankets are being offered to elderly people across Northumberland next month.

County council safety experts will carry out the tests.

Recent research has shown that blankets over 10 years old are responsible for most electric blanket fires.

Yesterday, Coun Mick Scullion, Northumberland County Council's executive member for community services, said: "I would urge anyone with an older blanket to arrange to have it checked. Last year we found that nearly half the blankets we tested were a fire risk."

In the event of blankets failing the tests, replacements will be available at a reduced cost through Age Concern.

The free tests will be carried out on October 3 at Rothbury Jubilee Hall in the morning and Wooler Cheviot Centre in the afternoon; October 4 at the Swan Centre, Berwick; October 5 at the Dovecote Centre, Amble and October 6 at Seahouses Fire Station (morning only). Testing, by appointment only, can be arranged on (01670) 534570. Blankets will be collected from the housebound.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 10, 2005
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