Press Release from Buckinghamshire Council
14 December 2022
Do you know how safe your electric blanket is?
Buckinghamshire & Surrey Trading Standards has organised drop-in sessions during December with their approved assessor to test residents’ electric blankets. The tests take about 6-10 minutes to do, and will help electric blanket users sleep warmly and safely.
Thursday 15 December – Aylesbury Library, Walton Street, HP20 1UU
Friday 16 December – High Wycombe Library, 5 Eden Place, HP11 2DH
The drop-in sessions are available from 10am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm on both days.
If an electric blanket is found to be unsafe, residents will be provided with a free replacement electric blanket to ensure they can continue to stay warm. Any electric blankets that are found to be unsafe will be disposed of by Trading Standards on behalf of residents at a Community Recycling Centre in the appropriate way for electrical items.
Mark Winn, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Homelessness and Regulatory Services, commented:
“If you currently use or are thinking of using an electric blanket, then I’d urge you to bring in the blanket to one of the drop-in sessions at Aylesbury and High Wycombe libraries so they can be tested to ensure they are electrically safe.
“If you’re considering buying an electric blanket, it's important to only purchase one from a reputable retailer. Make sure the blanket carries a recognised approvals mark, such as the British Electrotechnical Approvals Board (BEAB) mark, or the International Standard number EN 60967. The blanket must also be CE or UKCA marked.
“Please don't be tempted to buy a second-hand electric blanket.”
Using an electric blanket safely
Before using the blanket, read and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Some can be used under the person in the bed others go over the top.
Check the electric blanket frequently for detached tie tapes, frayed edges, scorch marks and damaged or loose electrical connections and that the connector isn't over-heating. Also make sure that the control doesn't make a buzzing noise or give off a scorching smell.
Never use a hot water bottle in the same bed as an electric blanket, even if the blanket is switched off.
Unplug blankets before you get into bed unless they have a thermostat control for safe all-night use.
When storing an electric blanket, don't fold it as this may damage the internal wiring. Store flat or rolled up.
Get your blanket tested by a qualified electrician at least every three years.
If your blanket is more than 10 years old, you should consider disposing of it and buying a new one. Blankets being disposed of should be taken to a recycling facility which accepts electronic appliances.
For more fire safety tips, please visit the Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service website.
The drop-in sessions are funded by Electrical Safety First.
More information on Buckinghamshire & Surrey Trading Standards.