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Freecheck on blankets.

Pensioners in Hartlepool are being offered free electric blanket safety checks by trading standards chiefs.

The "Is Your Electric Blanket Ready For Retirement?" checks are aimed at identifying old and faulty blankets which could put their owners at risk of a fire or electrocution.

Trading Standards bosses estimate that faulty electric blankets are responsible for more than 5,000 fires around the country each year.

Michael Welsh, Hartlepool Council's principal trading standards officer, said: "We have tested hundreds of electric blankets over the years, and each year about half fail the test, which is very worrying indeed.

"We have found some dangerous electric blankets, with everything from worn fabric exposing the heating cables, to damaged flexes and heating elements and faulty plugs.

"I'm sure there are still many old electric blankets out there being used every night which should be replaced."

The checking sessions - which are funded by Hartlepool Health Action Zone - will be carried out at Hartlepool Civic Centre, in Victoria Road, on Thursday, October 21 and Friday 22.

The electric blanket checks are popular and to reduce waiting times, pensioners are asked to make an appointment if they would like their blanket checked. Call the Trading Standards team on 01429 523362 or call into the main reception at the Civic Centre.
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Title Annotation:Family Life
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Sep 28, 2004
Words:213
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