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Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and Trading Standards teamed up throughout October to carry out tests on electric blankets across the county, reducing fire deaths, injuries and fires in buildings.
Fire stations across the county opened their doors on allocated days for the public to bring their blankets in for testing. There were 21 events over 18 days throughout October, where 1,268 blankets were brought in for testing; 788 of those passed and 480 failed.
All failed blankets were passed to The Greyhound Rescue charity, and Gosport Borough Council offered replacement blankets for residents that met the criteria of over 65 years of age or vulnerable.
The public were asked to fill out a questionnaire and comments such as ‘please keep it going, I feel so reassured and safe’, and ‘such an efficient, friendly service,’ were received.
Station Manager, Jim Clarke, says,
"This is a long-standing joint campaign with Trading Standards, and every year its value is displayed with the amount of failed blankets that are identified through the testing process. This year is no exception with approximately one-third of the blankets failing.
“This is a vital initiative which not only helps reduce fires in the home that may result in deaths and injuries, but also provides an engagement opportunity for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service to further develop links with its local community and provide fire safety information and advice."
There are several things that you can do to protect yourself.
Before you buy an electric blanket:
When using your electric blanket make sure that:
Looking after your electric blanket:
When you are not using your blanket:
A smoke alarm can give you those precious few minutes of warning which could help you and your family to get out safely in the event of fire.
Smoke alarms cost around £7 and are simple to install. They are widely available from DIY, hardware and electrical shops. Choose an alarm which meets British Standards BS 5446 Part 1 and carries the Kitemark.
Follow the manufacturers instructions on positioning, fitting and battery replacement.
Visit http://www.hantsfire.gov.uk/fittingsmokealarms for advice on smoke detectors.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has a dedicated media line, giving current information on incidents around the County. The media are requested to call the media line for information first, should you require any further information, call the Marketing and Communications team or the out of hours number.
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