Wednesday 4 December 2013

BBC's Irresponsible Article on Electric Blankets

[Image description: electric blanket & control; courtesy Wikipedia]

In an article, entitled Use electric blankets to keep warm, says Conservative peer, the BBC has recklessly publicised a peer's comments on using electric blankets without providing any alternative perspective and omitting to give any safety advice whatsoever. The article on this occasion also does not allow for comment so firefighters, HSE personnel or others with an interest in this tale cannot qualify the item nor add alternative perspectives. Note also that the Government (here referred to as Downing Street, the residence of the UK Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, head of the Treasury) also failed to add any further comment - including safety advice.

'The government should encourage people to use electric blankets as a "simple, practical" way to cut down on heating bills, a Conservative peer has argued.
Baroness Rawlings said this was also environmentally friendly as blankets required little electricity.
Her comments came after the government announced a deal to alleviate increases to energy bills.
'The answer'

In the House of Lords, Lady Rawlings, a former government whip, asked Lady Verma: "Have the government considered as a simple, practical measure encouraging people to use electric blankets?
"They are the answer to many of the government's aims. They are very green as they use little electricity and they reduce the need for so much heating in the home.

A Downing Street source said No 10 had nothing to add to Lady Verma's response.'

According to The Electric Blanket Institute (red text is my iteration):

Who Should NOT Use Electric Blankets?
Just as with any electrical appliance, things do occasionally go wrong with electric bedding. For example, a control may not work properly, a blanket may become bunched up which might cause an overheated condition or a heater wire might break. Therefore, it is foolish to allow infants or small children to use these products. Likewise for the same reasons, anyone who is helpless, paralyzed, insensitive to heat or incapable of understanding the control’s operation should never be allowed to use these appliances. Some elderly people with one or more of these conditions sometimes insist on having their electric blanket. Be strong and refuse them. Show “tough love” or you may regret it.

So basically, an organisation representing the interests of electric blanket manufactures/retailers does not think the elderly should necessarily use them, contrary to the peer's idiotic notion. In other words, the very folk the uninformed and frankly stupid Baroness suggests should use electric blankets are the very folk who should not.

Shame on the Baroness, the BBC and the UK Government for not highlighting the very real dangers to using electric blankets.

Please use electrical appliances with care dear reader! %)

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