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Electric Blankets (Standards)

Volume 724: debated on Thursday 10 February 1966

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, since approximately half of all homes already have one or more electric blankets, he will now make a regulation under the Consumer Protection Act, 1961, covering all electric blankets, having regard to the facts, firstly, that some 10 per cent. of electric blankets sold do not conform to the British Standard and, secondly, that in any case the British Standard does not require that all electric blankets should be made of non-inflammable material, that they should all have a safety device to operate in the event of over-heating or an electrical failure, and that their servicing be carried out only by approved establishments.

The present British Standard requires electric blankets either to be constructed of materials which are slow-burning or to be provided with an automatic protective device; protection against overheating is ensured by the limitations placed on wattage and temperature and by other constructional requirements; and the detailed instructions which must be attached to each blanket warn the customer to return the blanket regularly to the manufacturers for inspection and, if necessary, for repair. These requirements ensure a high degree of safety. The fact that some blankets do not carry the "kite-mark" of the British Standards Institution does not mean that they are necessarily unsafe. My right hon. Friend will continue to keep the possible need for Regulations under close review.