Until recent times, electric blankets had a notorious reputation for being unsafe. Despite the warmth they offered us as we climbed into bed of a night, there were cases of people sleeping on an electric blanket that was dangerous and, as the saying goes, an accident waiting to happen.
Thankfully, the design of electric blankets has improved considerably, with some manufacturers creating a blanket you can wash! This, along with better information and fire safety training, means that we also understand the issues that can be present when we use these blankets.
Follow these good safety practices hints and tips, and you will not only get the best out of your blanket but be safe too:
First and foremost, electric blankets have vastly improved and so if your blanket is older than five years, the time has come to ditch it and buy a new one from a reputable and well-known brand.
From infants to the elderly, infirm or anyone who cannot control the blanket themselves in a competent way, should not have an electric blanket on their bed.
Many blankets come with detachable power cords but this does not mean that one cord can be swapped from one blanket to another. Neither should they be pinched, in other words, caught or trapped in bedding, the bed itself or furniture. Cases of fires have been reported from the friction of the power cord being caught in bedsprings and so on.
Electric blankets should also not be used on hospital or therapy types beds. They should be used on a flat, non-moving mattress only. In fact, a key component of electric blanket safety is that the blanket should also be flat; it should not be rumpled or bunched together.
Pets love a warm bed and although you can buy heated pet beds, using a domestic electric blanket is not appropriate. Neither should pets and their sharp claws be encouraged to lie on your electric blanket. There are cases where a puncture to the wire insulation within the blanket has rendered it unsafe.
As tempting as it may seem, leaving your electric blanket on throughout the day is not a good idea. It may cause the blanket to overheat, possibly leading to fire.
Finally, as part of fire safety training, anyone using electrical appliances of all kinds, including electric blankets should regularly inspect them, to ensure they are fit for purpose. If in doubt, stop using and buy new!