Pensioners can exchange their old electric blankets for new ones at a multi-agency event in Wisbech.
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) and Fenland District Council (FDC) have teamed up with Age UK Cambridgeshire and Fenland Youth District Council to run the giveaway as part of a Golden Age event at the Oasis Centre, St Michael’s Avenue, Wisbech.
From 10am until 1pm on Wednesday, January 22, residents aged 65 or over can take advantage of the offer. The new blankets will be distributed on a first come, first served basis by volunteers from CFRS’s Community Champions scheme, who will also be on hand to give fire safety advice. Safety checks on old blankets will not be carried out at this event.
Wendy Coleman, Community Risk Manager at CFRS, said: “As temperatures threaten to drop in the remaining winter months, many residents will be dusting off electric blankets to stay warm at night. However, electric blankets contain heating elements that can be dangerous if broken or allowed to overheat.
“We’re keen to support this scheme as it is a great opportunity for residents to be safe and get expert fire prevention advice. Our Community Champions will be on hand to provide tips to residents about electric blankets.”
Faulty electric blankets are a significant fire risk, with more than 70 per cent failing safety checks at previous electrical testing events.
Councillor Steve Garratt, FDC’s Cabinet Member responsible for older people, said: “The winter is a hard time for many older and vulnerable people and we need to do all we can to help them keep warm and stay safe. This blanket exchange and the energy-saving measures that can save money and make their homes cosier are two ways we can do that.”
Representatives from Age UK Cambridgeshire will also be at the event to offer advice and information about free energy efficiency assessments available through its Handyman service.