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OFT Offers Free Electric Blanket Testing 15 September 2006

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 its own premises in Lord Street, Douglas as well as at certain Fire Stations around the Island from 25th to 28th September inclusive. 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 5,000 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 1,240 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 across 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 it's free smoke detector service to those over 60 at the testing stations.

Commenting on the electric blanket testing Mr Quintin Gill MHK, Chairman of the Office, said "5,800 fires were caused by faulty electric blankets in the UK in one year. Last year we had nearly two hundred and fifty blankets tested and around 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's certainly better to be safe than sorry."

NOTES

The testing will be conducted at the following locations:-

Office of Fair Trading, Douglas: Monday 25th September

Castletown Fire Station: Tuesday 26th September (morning only)

Peel Fire Station: Tuesday 26th September (afternoon only)

Ramsey Fire Station: Wednesday 27th September

Office of Fair Trading, Douglas: Thursday 28th September

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