SO concerned are the authorities about most electric blankets being dangerous that they are offering to test them for nothing.

SO concerned are the authorities about most electric blankets being dangerous that they are offering to test them for nothing. Those whose blankets fail the test will be offered up to 50 per cent off a replacement.

The way people store electric blankets, as well as general wear and tear, can mean they are no longer safe to use. In 2003, the Cambridgeshire branch of Age Concern found 73 per cent of blankets tested at an electric blanket testing event were unsafe.

Now Cambridgeshire Trading Standards and the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) are inviting people to bring their electric blankets a convenient testing station so that experts can check them. they include sessions at Huntingdon and St Neots on October 27 and Papworth on October 29.

To make an appointment to get an electric blanket tested people should telephone (01354) 750035 between 09.30am and 12.30pm. Testing is free and, if a blanket fails the safety checks, the owner will be given a voucher for up to 50 per cent off a new blanket, as the testers are unable to return unsafe blankets.

INFORMATION: The testing sessions are jointly funded by Cambridgeshire County Council's trading standards service and the Electrical Safety Council. The ESC is a leading safety charity committed to reducing deaths and injuries caused by electrical accidents at home and at work. Download a copy of ESC's leaflet on electric blanket safety. at www.esc.org.uk.