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Over 240 electric blankets tested by Office of Fair Trading 12 October 2005

    The Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading is delighted with the continuing popularity of its free electric blanket testing service.

    This year 243 blankets were tested, an increase of 39 over last year, keeping the specialist engineer, Clive McDonald, and the Office's Mike Buss very busy. There was a high rate of failure again this year with 45% of blankets found to be unsafe to use and condemned. This figure is consistent with the failure level over the previous five years. A number of blankets were found to have dangerous faults which the engineer was able to repair on the day at no cost to the owners. Most of the condemned blankets were left with the Office who will be donating them to the MSPCA to be used as pet bedding.

    Almost 6,000 house fires a year in the UK are caused by old or damaged electric blankets and each year between 10 and 20 people are killed and 100 injured in such fires.

    Commenting on the electric blanket testing the Chairman of the Office of Fair Trading, Quintin Gill MHK, said "The Office provides this valuable safety service free of charge and I am delighted that so many people took advantage of it. It is vital that unsafe blankets are removed from use and I am pleased that the engineer was able to repair those which had potentially deadly but resolvable faults".

    12th October 2005

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