Home Improvement Agency offers free electric blanket testing to Oxford residents

Published: Friday, 13th September 2019

Oxford City Council’s Home Improvement Agency (HIA) is teaming up with Oxfordshire County Council to offer free electric blanket testing to Oxford residents.

The HIA is working with Trading Standards and the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service to provide testing and highlight the dangers associated with faulty blankets as part of the county council’s 365alive initiative.

Free testing in Oxford

Free testing will be available on Tuesday 8 October at The Barn on Nightingale Avenue in Blackbird Leys and on Monday 21 October at Cutteslowe Community Centre.

Appointments for blanket testing must be booked in advance.

Home Improvement Agency support

The HIA will also be on hand at these events to advise older, disabled and vulnerable residents on the support the team can provide to help them live safely and independently in their own homes. 

The HIA can help with adaptions to a home and general household repairs, minor electrical and plumbing works, energy efficiency measures and home safety and security. Grants or loans may be available to undertake any necessary work.

Dangerous electric blankets

Last year 800 electric blankets were tested and nearly a quarter failed to meet safety standards, making them a potential fire risk. Warning signs that an electric blanket may be unsafe include fraying fabric, scorch marks, exposed elements, loose connections and worn flex.

“Nearly a quarter of blankets tested last year were unsafe and that’s worrying because electric blankets are responsible for 5,000 house fires a year. I’d urge anyone to check their blanket for danger signs and to make an appointment for a free test.

“Our HIA team will also be on hand at the Oxford events to advise people on the help we can give so they can keep living safely and independently in their own homes, so don’t delay – book today.”

Councillor Mike Rowley, cabinet member for affordable housing

How to book a free blanket test

To book an appointment for a free safety check call 01865 895999 or email communityengagement@oxfordshire.gov.uk.

Advice and information from the Home Improvement Agency

To discuss the support HIA may be able to offer call 01865 252788 or visit our Home Improvement Agency pages.