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Blankets get safety check

RESIDENTS from across Bognor Regis have attended a special testing afternoon at the fire station.


West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service offered the free electric blanket testing in order to identify any of the bed coverings which posed a potential fire risk.


Community fire safety officer Derek Covill said: “So far today we have failed around a third of the blankets we have tested. The majority of failings is due to the age of the blankets.


“The life expectancy of electric blankets is ten years. The government stipulate that the blanket should be thrown away after this period of time regardless of its condition.”


Mark Holland, also a community fire safety officer, said: “We’ve had one today which was manufactured in 1997.


“People forget how old the blankets are. We use a book to look up the manufacturer and the serial number to determine its age. Then again, we had one today which was made in 2010 and was in immaculate condition but it shorted out and we had to fail it.”


Common issues the two experts came across included blankets put in washing machines and people spilling drinks in bed.


Mark added: “It’s often when the blanket becomes folded or scrunched up that they are a fire risk. You should also never use a blanket which has any scorch marks on it or bare wires.”


Graham Lewis travelled to Bognor Regis Fire Station from East Preston. He said: “I got my electric blanket three years ago and always get it tested now.”

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