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Free electric blanket testing as ‘Help is at Hand’ continues over Winter

Published: Tuesday, 12th December 2023

Residents across the city are set receive free electric blanket testing as temperatures continue to drop.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council have received funding through national charity Electrical Safety First for a project which will tackle unsafe electric blankets.

Unsafe electric blankets cause between 800 and 1,000 fires in the UK each year, with nearly 20 deaths and 200 injuries. 99 per cent of all electric blanket fires are believed to have involved blankets that are more than ten years old and have no overheat protection.

The council’s Trading Standards team are now offering free electric blanket safety checks to ensure people can sleep safely in their beds this winter.

Residents are being encouraged to take up the offer at the following locations:

  • Hanley Indoor Market, 12 December, 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • Port Vale Football Club, 13 December, 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • Bentilee Neighbourhood Centre ,14 December, 9.30am to 4.30pm

Officers will be checking blankets for electrical safety - and any blanket belonging to residents who are over 60, that fails the safety test will be replaced free of charge.

There will only a limited number of places available so residents are encouraged to book an appointment by calling the council on 01782 238170.

Councillor Amjid Wazir, cabinet member for city pride, enforcement and sustainability said: “This initiative comes at a vital time, providing a practical solution for our residents amidst the challenges posed by the current cost of living crisis.

“Ensuring the safety and well-being of our community remains a top priority, and this project will contribute significantly to ensuring their comfort and security during these challenging times”.

As the cost-of-living crisis deepens in the UK, the Electrical Safety Fund is a major annual grant scheme which helps those most vulnerable to electrical injuries in their homes. Run by the national campaigning charity Electrical Safety First, the fund aims to reduce domestic electrical risks. Around half of all domestic fires in the UK are caused by electricity, with most of those arising from electrical products. 

Samuel Terry, Policy and Research Manager at Electrical Safety First, says: “Electrical safety risks have been exacerbated in recent years by several wider factors, including the cost-of-living crisis, rocketing inflation, and rising energy prices.” 

“We are delighted to be funding projects that seek to keep people safe in their homes, with a focus on tackling risks associated with electrical products, increasing the public’s awareness of electrical safety, and promoting changes in behaviour.” 

This comes as the ‘Help is at Hand’ campaign was launched by the council to support residents across the city through the cost of living crisis and winter months, with the support of public services, community and voluntary sector groups.

For residents who may be struggling, www.stoke.gov.uk/helpisathand has helpful advice and support links.

 

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