With the winter well and truly setting in, a lot of us Brits will be looking at how we can make our homes a little bit warmer as the nights turn colder. One room many of us pay particular attention to is the bedroom; opting for winter duvets and cosier sheets. However, there is one thing that if used correctly can be a great addition to the home, but can also be extremely hazardous if not; electric blankets!
Fire Service Warnings
Each year we are warned by fire services across the country to be careful when getting out our electric blankets or considering purchasing one. As with many household items, we get used to simply using them and less mindful of the dangers they can cause, if not handled appropriately.
In order to help owners and potential buyers of electric blankets, avoid common mistakes, we have put together our own guide to the do’s and don’t of using electric blankets. By following a few simple instructions, you can feel comfortable, but also confident that you a sleeping safety this winter.
- Always read the manufacture’s instructions that come with your blanket before you use it
- If it is an older blanket, be sure to examine your blanket regularly for sign of wear and damage
- Do not use the blanket in any other way than it is intended for. For example, don’t use and electric underblanket as an overblanket or vice versa.
- Avoid folding the blanket to ensure you don’t damage it
- Tie your blanket to the bed to prevent it from slipping and creasing
- Look out for fraying fabric, damp patches and exposed elements
- if you’re in doubt about whether your blanket is safe to use or not it is safer to buy a new one, just incase
- Never turn the blanket on while it is folder or creased
- Don’t use a hot water bottle in a bed that is fitted with an electric blanket
- Never get into bed with and electric blanket turned on if you are wet
- Avoid using an electric blanket on the bed of an infant or someone with limited mobility
- Try not to have your heated blanket on all night
When Should You Replace Your Blanket For A New One
If you think that you might need to replace your old electric blanket this winter, there are a few things you can check for to help you decide.
- Is your blanket over 10 years old?
- Is the fabric of the blanket frayed or worn at all?
- Does there seem to be any discolouration or scorch marks visible on the fabric?
- Are there any wires visible or poking out through the fabric?
- Is there any damage to the cable that runs between the power socket and the control to the blanket?
- Does the control make a buzzing sound when the blanket is turned on?
If any of these apply to you, then you should definitely consider replacing your blanket with a new one. Electric blankets account for over 5,000 fires in homes every year, so it is important that you learn how to safely install and use them to avoid hurting yourself and family.
It is also important to bare in mind that electric blankets should not be disposed of with general domestic waste and to comply with EU legislations, should be taken to a recycling facility.