Are You Sleeping With Danger?

The annual electric blanket campaign will be kicking off in Stoke-on-Trent next month.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Stoke-on-Trent City Council will again be testing electric blankets free of charge at venues across the City.

Out of the 450 electric blankets tested last year, 180 were found to be unsafe!

Any electric blankets that fail the testing will not be handed back, but those aged over 60 and living in Stoke-on-Trent will be offered a brand new single or double under blanket as a replacement.

“Nationally hundreds of fires are caused every year by electric blankets, so ensuring yours is safe is really important. We find that a lot of people fold up their electric blankets when they’re not in use, however this damages the internal wiring, making them dangerous.

“We will be doing the testing in September, as people generally start pulling out their blankets towards the end of the month once the temperatures start to drop and the nights start drawing in.”

“Last year, 450 electric blankets were tested at the drop-in sessions, with 40 per cent of those failing the test. Any of the blankets that failed could potentially have caused a house fire.

“Council consumer protection officers are marking the start of the week of blanket testing by staging a “Ëœkeeping well, keeping safe’ information event at Hanley Town Hall on the first testing date. This will be attended by a variety of agencies involved with the care and safety of our elderly residents. They will be on hand for advice and information for visitors while they wait to have their blanket tested.”

Testing will take place at the following venues:

Hanley Town Hall ““ September 22nd
Kings Hall, Stoke-on-Trent ““ September 23rd (am)
Burslem Fire Station ““ September 23rd (pm)
Longton Market ““ September 24th

To book a free Home Fire Risk Check contact: 0800 0241 999. For all other non emergency enquiries contact: 08451 22 11 55 or log onto: or In an emergency dial 999.

Generous traders give 1200 tins of soup to help homeless.

By Pits’n’Pots Reporter.

Kind-hearted market traders are to donate 1,200 tins of soup to help homeless people over the cold winter months.

More than 80 stall holders at Hanley Indoor Market in the city centre have clubbed together to buy the food for the local branch of the Salvation Army.

Traders at the Stoke-on-Trent City Council-run market took the cause to heart to help local people.

David Bryan, who has run J Bryan and Sons grocers store for 40 years, said: “All of the traders have helped to raise money, it has been a real group effort. We like to do our bit to support good causes and have raised money for organisations such as the Douglas Macmillan Hospice in the past.

“We wanted to help local people and, having spoken to the Salvation Army, found out that around 1,200 tins of soup would be enough to help homeless people over the cold winter months.”

Mr Bryan, and other market traders will present the tins on Thursday (13 October) to Gary Thomas, manager of the Salvation Army’s Vale Street residential centre, and Gerald Newton, who sells the charity’s War Cry newspaper on the market twice a week and attends the Salvation Army’s church in Tunstall.

Councillor Brian Ward, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Market traders have given very generously, and I applaud them for their fundraising. It is a very innovative fundraising idea and one that is designed to help those in most need.

“I’m a keen supporter of the Salvation Army and I’d like to praise them for the work that they do in the city.”

The city council helps homeless people and provides advice and assistance. The authority works in partnership with local hostels and agencies and makes direct referrals for customers.

Gary Thomas said: “We are so grateful to the market traders for their very generous donation. The soup will be put to good use; we will serve it in our centre, during the Rough Sleepers Count on 28th October, when our volunteers go out across North Staffordshire. We will also use the soup as part of next month’s Salvation Army Soup Kitchen Challenge at our Pitstop café, a resident-operated social enterprise that we will soon open to the public.

“The idea behind the Challenge is to encourage the public to share fresh soup with family, friends, and colleagues, in return for a donation toward The Salvation Army. The traders’ wonderful gesture will be of so much benefit to many people and we extend our sincere thanks to everyone of them.”

Members of the public seeking advice or assistance on rough sleeping can call the rough sleepers helpline on 0800 9702304.