Jersey Electricity removes record number of faulty electric blankets in annual safety check with Fire and Rescue Service

Jersey Electricity tested a record 220 electric blankets and removed another record 37 from service at the annual two-day safety test at Western Fire Station, St Brelade.

In a joint initiative to reduce the risk of house fires caused by electrical fault, Jersey Fire and Rescue Service and JE invited Islanders to take their electric blankets for a free safety check by qualified electrical engineers. Those found to be faulty or over 10 years old were retained and disposed of and the owners given a discount voucher to purchase a new one. Of the 37 that failed the test this year, three were in a very dangerous condition.

Fire and Rescue Community Safety Officers were on hand, offering advice on fire safety in the home. Officer Phil Falle said: 'We were again very pleased with the public response which was an increase on last year when we tested 188 blankets and removed 30 from service. And we are grateful to Jersey Electricity staff for their ongoing commitment to this safety campaign.

'It is also useful for us to have the opportunity to remind the public face to face about fire safety. The majority of fires we attend that are started by electrical faults are due to people overloading sockets. Too many appliances plugged into one socket can cause overheating. It is safer to use a strip adapter on a lead rather than a block adaptor. People should never plug an adaptor into another adaptor and the total current plugged into the adaptor should not exceed 13 amps.

'Electric blankets should be kept dry and stored flat or rolled. When the blanket is on the bed people should ensure that both the lead and the switch/heat control hang freely and the electric flex is not twisted, coiled, laid across the blanket or tucked under the mattress or covers.

'You should never use an under blanket over a person or an over blanket under a person. You should never use two or more electric blankets on top each other and you should never use a hot water bottle with an electric blanket.'