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Electric blankets fail safety tests.

MORE than a third of electric blankets tested in Warwick have failed safety tests.

Some 36 per cent of blankets tested in the town were found to be unsafe - putting the town just behind Nuneaton in an electric blanket "league of shame."

Test by trading standards officers in Nuneaton revealed the highest number of unsafe electric blankets in the county.

Of all of the blankets taken to Nuneaton Fire Station for testing earlier in the month, 38 per cent were found to be dangerous. More than a third displayed faults which meant they were hazardous or potentially lethal. Faults included damaged wiring, exposed elements and no over-heat safety cut-off protection.

The best figures came from Rugby, where only 30 per cent of tested blankets were dangerous.

Blankets which had inappropriate fuses, or damaged or old-style plugs were repaired. Owners of condemned blankets received a voucher entitling them to money off the cost of a new blanket. The figures reveal an increase of more than 10 per cent on the number of blankets which had to be destroyed when tests were carried out a year ago.

Noel Hunter, director of Warwickshire Trading Standards, said: "The fact that a third of all the electric blankets we tested failed has to be a matter of concern but we are pleased we have been able to remove these dangerous blankets from use.

"Unsafe electric blankets are the cause of many house fires each year and can often lead to death or serious injury.

"Elderly people are particularly at risk, making up a large percentage of reported deaths, and this is why we targeted this age group with our testing programme."

Further tests will be carried out at Bedworth Fire Station on November 12, for the over 60s.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 31, 2003
Words:293
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