Residents thinking about reaching for electric blankets as autumn approaches are being urged to make sure they are safe.
Over the next few weeks, officers from East Riding of Yorkshire Council's trading standards team will be at various locations offering free electric blanket checks.
The checks will take place at:
• Anlaby – Wednesday 6 September, 9am to 12 noon at East Riding Leisure Haltemprice, HU10 6QJ
• Elloughton – Wednesday 6 September, 1.30 to 5pm, Elloughton Village Hall, Elloughton Road, Brough, HU15 1AJ
• Bridlington – Wednesday 27 September, 9am to 12 noon, Emmanuel Church Hall, 70 Cardigan Road, Bridlington YO15 3JT
• Driffield – Wednesday 27 September, 1.30 to 5pm, East Riding Library at Driffield Centre, Cross Hill, YO25 6RQ
• Beverley – Tuesday 3 October, 9am to 5pm, St Nicholas Community Centre, Holme Church Lane, Beverley, HU17 0PY
• Pocklington – Wednesday 11 October, 9am to 12 noon, Burnby Hall, the Balk, YO42 2QF
• Holme on Spalding Moor – Wednesday 11 October, 1.30 to 5pm, Village Hall, YO43 4EN
Figures show that across the UK, old and unsafe electric blankets cause more than 5,000 fires each year. Last year, of the 254 blankets tested in the East Riding, 63 failed the safety test.
The most common reason blankets fail the test is that due to their age, a fault has developed in the wiring or they don't have an overheat protection system which is found in modern blankets.
Councillor Shaun Horton, portfolio holder for community involvement and council corporate services, said: "Electric blankets are often used by older or vulnerable people so it is important to ensure that they are safe. Older residents may be using dated or even dangerous blankets without realising."
It takes six minutes to check each blanket, and it is free of charge to residents of the East Riding, but they must make an appointment. Residents may bring more than one electric blanket to be tested, but an appointment must be made for each blanket they intend to bring. People with poor mobility may be eligible to have their electric blankets picked up and delivered back to their home.
Anyone wishing to make an appointment to have their blankets checked can ring the council on (01482) 396301 or email firstname.lastname@example.org