Free electric blanket testing was organised by Merton’s Trading Standards Officers in partnership with Age Concern Merton and London Fire Brigade.
Age Concern Merton and London Fire Brigade funded the event, with residents getting free replacement blankets if a safety test failed.
The tests were conducted over a 3-day period in October and 36 of the 85 blankets were deemed unsafe, posing a fire risk. Experts recommend that electric blankets be checked once every three years.
Those attending received help and detailed advice about keeping safe and warm, including a variety of other issues such as dealing with bogus callers, home security, and health advice.
Councillor Diane Neil-Mills, cabinet member for Housing and Regeneration said:
“Consumer safety is a priority. We actively monitor consumer goods throughout Merton taking action where necessary, to remove dangerous products from the borough’s shops. Electric blanket testing is a key part of the service we offer to residents in Merton.”
Lynne Bainbridge Chief Executive Age Concern Merton added:
“We at Age Concern Merton are very pleased to able to support this event again this year and with our partners promote the Keep Warm Keep Well message to older people and those that support them. The range of advice and help on offer was excellent and we are already planning next year’s events”.
Bernie Higgins Merton Borough Commander London Fire Brigade added:
“London Fire Brigade staff in Merton are very pleased to support this event, as it gives us another opportunity to offer important safety advice to older residents in the borough. We believe that prevention is better than cure and we are keen to do all we can to keep Merton residents safe”.
Other partners involved in the scheme included Warmfront, Mascot, Hanover at Home and Merton Police.
If you’re concerned about the safety of any consumer product you have purchased, please contact Trading standards via Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.
It is anticipated that electric blanket testing will take place again in 2007.