Firefighters in Brighton and Hove have offered to check electric blankets for free in support of Ageing Safely Week.
The checks will be carried out over three days next month as night-time temperatures cool with the onset of autumn.
The firefighters, from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, aim to help people stay safe in their homes.
The safety tests will be carried out at Preston Circus Fire Station and Roedean Fire Station, both in Brighton, and at Hove Town Hall.
Ageing Safely Week, which started yesterday (Monday 29 September), is organised by the Chief Fire Officers Association and includes Older People’s Day tomorrow (Wednesday 1 October).
The fire service said: “Statistics show that the risk of dying in a fire for those aged 65 and over is more than twice as high as the average risk for all ages.
“And with an ever-increasing older population – 23 per cent of the UK will be aged 65 and over by 2035 – activities to help older people prevent fires and keep themselves safe are likely to form a growing part of the fire service’s work over the coming years.”
Similar checks last year resulted in 184 blankets being tested, with 22 per cent failing to meet safety standards.
The sessions also provide an opportunity to get friendly advice and information on home safety, home security, fire prevention and local services.
The blanket testing programme is co-ordinated by Brighton and Hove City Council, in partnership with the fire service, trading standards and adult social care.
The fire service’s city commander Mark Matthews said: “We are working with our partner agencies to deliver this important service to our local communities.
“We are particularly keen to reach out to vulnerable groups including older people, people with low mobility, and those on low incomes.
“Brighton and Hove residents can come and get their blanket checked for free by a qualified electrician.
“It’s very important that people store their blankets properly all year-round. However, by offering this service in October, we can make sure those tested are suitable to be used over the coming winter months.”
Appointments can be booked by calling Donna Lynsdale, from the council, on 01273 292494.
The three sessions all take place from 9am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4pm on the following dates
- Monday 20 October at Preston Circus Fire Station, in London Road, Brighton
- Tuesday 21 October at Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove
- Wednesday 22 October at Roedean Fire Station, in Roedean Road, Brighton