Do’s and Don’ts of Using Electric Blanket
Now that the weather is getting colder, that electric blanket you have stored away is looking like a nice cozy option for the winter months. However, those that want to use an electric blanket should realize that they can be dangerous and become a fire hazard. By adhering to some simple guidelines, you can make sure to put safety first while using this comfy device.
Do’s When Using an Electrical Blanket
- When choosing a blanket made sure to get one that conforms to Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards. This is a safety certification organization that has been testing products and establishing standards for over 100 years. A seal of approval from them is a good sign that your blanket will be safe.
- When using the blanket make sure the heated area of the blanket lays flat and is not folded or balled up. This way the heat will not get too intense.
- Make sure the blanket is on top of you and not under you where damage can be done to its internal coils. Also, make sure items like books, pillows and stuffed animals are not kept on the blanket blocking avenues where heat may escape.
- Keep pets away from the blanket, especially when it is being used. A sharp claw or tooth could puncture the cord insulation and damage the wires.
- Keep the blanket turned off when it is not in use. Most models do not automatically turn off when they overheat.
- Make sure the control cords are loosely wrapped when the blanket is folded for storage.
- Turn off and unplug the blanket immediately if you see smoke or smell something burning. If the blanket is discolored, it could be a sign that melting or burning has occurred.
- If the blanket is not functioning properly, consult the manufacturer immediately. If no solution is met, discontinue use of the product.
Dont’s When Using an Electric Blanket
- Don’t use electric blankets on infants, toddlers, people with disabilities or anyone else who can’t operate the heating controls independently.
- Don’t use the blanket for overnight use unless there is indication that it is okay to do so.
- When using an electric blanket in bed, do not run the power cord between the mattress and the box spring. This could result in damage to the cord and possibly cause a fire.
- Don’t twist or pinch the control cords as this can also lead to damage of the cords. Do not use electric blankets with adjustable beds, sofa sleepers or Murphy beds where cords can become pinched and damaged.
- Don’t use an electric blanket in a water bed as electric shock can occur if the components get wet.
- Don’t use an electric blanket with a heated mattress pad. The excessive heat can lead to overheating that can cause a fire.
- Don’t wash your electric blanket. Cords can become twisted or stretched while in a washing machine which can lead to damage of the internal coils.
- Don’t iron your blanket as you can run the risk of melting the cord insulation.
- Don’t dry clean your blanket. Dry cleaners use solvents that can damage the cord insulation.
Using an electric blanket seems irresistibly cozy and comfy during cold nights. However, there are many risks that come with its use. Be sure to think carefully before making a purchase and be certain you are buying an item that is safe and that you are familiar with all its safety do’s and don’ts. Good luck with keeping warm through the coming winter nights!