IT MIGHT be uncomfortably warm at night at the moment, but before long, we'll be in the grip of a cold winter once more.

And with that in mind, Thurrock Council is once again offering local people a free electric blanket testing service to ensure they are safe to use before the cold nights hit hard.

The council’s trading standards team are setting up drop off/collection points across the borough and urging people to drop their blanket off before October 1 for testing.

Cllr Phil Smith, portfolio holder for public protection, said: “This is something we do annually and is an integral part of our drive to protect the people of Thurrock - and in particular older residents and the vulnerable.

“But we are offering everybody the service to anyone, irrespective of age.”

The tests will be carried out at the council’s Civic Offices in Grays and are free of charge.

The drop-off points are at the South Ockendon Centre in Derry Avenue, the council’s Civic Offices in New Road, Grays, Corringham Library in St John’s Way and the Chadwell St Mary Centre – formerly the library – in Brentwood Road.