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Make sure winter is cosy, not costly; PENSIONERS MUST ACT NOW TO GET FREE ELECTRIC BLANKET CHECKS.

Byline: EMMA SNODGRASS

PENSIONERS in Coventry are invited to take their electric blankets along for a free test which could save their lives this winter.

Coventry Trading Standards is holding sessions until Friday to test the blankets for their safety and are calling on older people to book a session for the test.

Faulty blankets are thought to cause about 1,000 fires a year.

Cllr Colleen Fletcher, city council cabinet member for community well- being and housing, said: "Having an electric blanket can be a godsend for older people as the winter months set in but they need to be safe in the knowledge that they are still in good working order.

"Our free testing sessions have been a great success over the past five years and I'm personally delighted that we are continuing to work with the fire service in providing peace of mind to Coventry pensioners.

"I would urge every person who is eligible to come along with their blanket so they can rest assured that their winter will be a cosy one - not a costly one."

Great-grandmother Phyllis Lucas was among those who discovered their electric blankets were not up to scratch.

Mrs Lucas, aged 81, a retired inspector for the Standard factory and machine tracer, brought two blankets.

The insulation in her over blanket was worn and could have overheated, causing a fire, or even given someone an electric shock.

Mrs Lucas said: "I have had blankets, including this one, tested before and they have always been fine.

"I have had this particular blanket for some time but I would have gone on using it had it not been tested today.

"It's definitely something I would recommend to friends."

Any failed blankets are disposed of and owners are given a voucher to buy another blanket at half-price.

To book an appointment, call 024 7683 1864.

CAPTION(S):

LIFE-SAVER: Home safety checks officer Ted Hoskins (above) checks an electric blanket and (left) Cllr Colleen Fletcher hands a voucher to Phyllis Lucas whose blanket was faulty. Pictures: JAMES BALFOUR
COPYRIGHT 2003 Coventry Newpapers
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 23, 2003
Words:342
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