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Office of Fair Trading offers Free Electric Blanket Testing 16 September 2005

    The Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading is pleased to announce that it is again offering free electric blanket testing.

    This year the Office will be conducting the blanket testing at the Fulfilling Lives Exhibition at the Villa Marina on the 23rd and 24th September and at certain Fire Stations around the Island on 26th and 27th September. As the testing is by appointment anyone wishing to have their blanket tested should contact Caroline Ireland at the Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading on 686502.

    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. Since the Office first began testing sessions in 2000 almost 1,000 blankets have been tested. There has been a consistently high failure rate of approaching 50% proving that there are significant numbers of dangerous blankets in homes accross the Island. A further 5% are usually found to have dangerous faults which the specialist engineer is able to repair on the day at no cost to the owners. Discounts on replacement blankets will again be offered to those whose blankets fail the test.

    The Fire Service will also take the opportunity to promote its free smoke detector service to those over 60 at the testing stations.

    Commenting on the electric blanket testing, Mrs Brenda Cannell MHK, Vice Chairman of the Office, said "Almost 6,000 fires were caused by faulty electric blankets in the UK in one year. Last year we had over two hundred electric blankets tested and just under half of those tested failed due to serious faults which made the blankets a fire hazard. I urge everyone who uses a blanket or even has one in storage which may be used at a later date to make an appointment for testing. In this case it is certainly better to be safe than sorry".

    NOTES

    The testing will be conducted at the following locations:-

    Fulfilling Lives Exhibition, Villa Marina: Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th September 2005

    Castletown Fire Station: Monday 26th September 2005

    Ramsey Fire Station: Tuesday 27th September 2005

    16th September 2005

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