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Free fire checks on electric blankets.

FREE electric blanket safety checks are on offer to Coventry pensioners next week as part of a drive to cut fires.

Statistics show that more than 800 people in the UK are injured each year in fires caused by faulty electric blankets.

The free tests will be carried out at Radford Road fire station from Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm, but must be booked by phoning 024 7623 1999.

The Ring and Ride service is providing transport to and from the fire station for anyone registered with it. Anyone whose blanket is found to be dangerous will be given a pounds 5 voucher towards the cost of a replacement.

The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr Sheila Collins, said a check now could help reduce the risk of serious injury in the future.

She added: "Following the great success of last year's event, this provides another excellent chance for pensioners to have their electric blankets checked free of charge, before the winter months set in and their usage greatly increases."

Derek McAteer, West Midlands Fire Service community relations officer, said it was important to raise people's awareness of fire safety issues.

Mr McAteer said: "We are proud to be working alongside all the other organisations to provide this very important service."

Other agencies taking part include Coventry trading standards and Age Concern.

Lynnette Clarke, assistant director of Age Concern Coventry, said: "Keeping warm is vital to older people but many use electric blankets for years without realising they need to be tested.

"Often people who are aware of the need to test are discouraged due to the cost."
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Author:Gibbons, Duncan
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 5, 2000
Words:270
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