EAST Ayrshire Council Trading Standards Service is running its free annual electric blanket testing programme from Monday, September 3 to Friday, September 14.

Many house fires are caused by faulty electric blankets, in particular those which are more than 10 years old.

Visible signs of the danger posed include fraying fabric, scorch marks, exposed elements, worn flex or loose connections.

Jim McMahon, councillor for Cumnock and New Cumnock, said: “Safety in the home is paramount and I would encourage all those with electric blankets, particularly the elderly and the vulnerable, to take advantage of this free electric safety check which the council is offering.”

For peace of mind and to ensure your blanket is safe for the coming winter, simply take it along to the council’s customer service centres in Cumnock and Dalmellington.

Alternatively, drop it into the Trading Standards Office, Civic Centre South, 16 John Dickie Street, Kilmarnock — call 01563 576602 for more details.