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OAPs living with bedtime perils; ELECTRIC BLANKET TESTING SESSIONS SHOW UP WORRYING FIGURES.

ONE in three Nuneaton pensioners are sleeping under potentially lethal electric blankets, a shock survey revealed today.

The findings have been released by Trading Standards officers who tested 120 blankets in the town, as part of a county-wide safety drive earlier this month.

Overall 678 blankets were tested at fire stations throughout Warwickshire, with the number found to be unsafe down to 26 per cent. A further 12 per cent had minor faults.

Last year's county-wide average showed three in four blankets were unsafe or faulty. But despite the overall fall in the county, this year's testing in Nuneaton revealed almost one in three were still unsafe, with a further 9 per cent having minor faults.

Of the 120 tested, 37 were potentially dangerous, with 11 needing minor repairs. Faults included damaged wiring, exposed elements and absence of overheating or safety cut offs.

Simon Cripwell, senior information officer with trading standards, said: "The figures are good news in general, but obviously we are disappointed with the figures for Nuneaton."

The free testing was carried out by Trading Standards officers and fire- fighters at Nuneaton Fire Station earlier this month.

Tests were also carried out in Atherstone, Coleshill, Rugby, Leamington and Stratford.County-wide, 61 per cent were found to have no fault, 26 per cent were unsafe and 13 per cent had minor faults.

In 1998 24 per cent had no fault, 41 per cent were unsafe and 35 per cent had minor faults.

In Atherstone, of the 64 brought in for examination, 41 were safe and 20 were unsafe with three having minor faults.

Anyone concerned about the safety of their electric blanket should ring the Trading Standards adviceline on 01926 414000.
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Author:Kukuruzovic, Simon
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 22, 1999
Words:282
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