For the first time, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has teamed up with colleagues in West Sussex County Council’s Waste Service to complete this year’s electric blanket testing sessions across the county.
This year the fire service failed over 100 blankets and the Waste Service team arranged for all of the defective blankets to be safely recycled.
Community Fire Safety Manager, Jackie Boyle, explains: “This year we tested 354 blankets and with 102 failing we can estimate that around a third of blankets being used by our residents are likely unsafe.
“Blankets may not pass our tests for many reasons, including exposed wiring, poor condition of the material, or simply old age. These failed blankets do pose a fire risk and we are grateful for the Waste Service’s assistance in disposing of these blankets responsibly.”
Cabinet Member, Deborah Urquhart adds: “I am so pleased that the Waste Service has been able to work with their colleagues in the fire service on this. Electric blankets – in fact any electrical gadgets or appliances – can be recycled at our Household Waste Recycling Sites.
“But we know that many of the householders who own these blankets no longer drive, and would find it difficult to take their blanket to a site. Equally they cannot just go in the bin, as this is a fire risk. So collecting the blankets which fail the test, and recycling all of them on behalf of the householders, solves the problem – everyone stays safe and we ensure the blankets can be recycled and repurposed.”
The next electric blanket testing sessions will take place in Autumn 2018 and dates will be released in the Spring. Dates and locations will be published in West Sussex Connections, on WSFRS’s website and in local newspapers.
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is at the heart of West Sussex County Council's Communities and Public Protection Directorate, working to support communities to become safer, stronger and more resilient through a combination of prevention, protection and response activities.