OLD electric blankets which are pink or blue are potential fire hazards and should be discarded, experts say.
Faulty blankets have been blamed for nine Nottinghamshire house fires in the past three years, all of which could have been prevented.
Recent tests carried out by Nottinghamshire County Council found six out of 10 blankets to be faulty.
Now the council’s Trading Standards team is replacing blankets more than three years old for free until 31st January for the disabled and over 55s.
Said trading standards officer, David Brocklebank: “It’s good, safe practice to replace electric blankets at least every 10 years.
“The pink and blue ones are over a decade old should not be used as these could pose an unnecessary risk.
“Faulty blankets have been responsible for numerous house fires in the last few years, all of which could have been avoided.”
With a bitter cold snap forecast, it is feared folk - especially the elderly - will be digging out old blankets to keep warm and unwittingly putting themselves and their homes at risk.
Added Mr Brocklebank: “We understand that money might be tight and people won’t want to be buying replacement blankets.
“The beauty of the blanket exchange is that for most people, a replacement and the resultant peace of mind is absolutely free.”
Anyone unsure of the age of a blanket, should check the colour - and if it is pink or blue, it is time for new.
To check eligibility for the blanket exchange or to make an appointment to replace an old blanket, contact the council on 01623 452005.