Looking after your electric blankets

Looking after your electric blankets

We have had an early and an unreasonably cold start to the winter.

Many people have taken their old electric over and under blankets out of storage, they may not realise that they are sleeping on a time bomb.

Fires caused by electric blankets account for over 5000 home fires a year in the UK, you can prevent this happening in your own home by taking a few simple steps. If you have stored your blanket folded and put things on top of it internal wiring could be bent or broken.

If your blanket is over three years old it should be checked by a professional before use, you can ask the shop where you bought it about testing and servicing, you can contact your local council as the local trading standards often have free testing days, however electric blankets are not that expensive it may be easier to buy a new one.

If your blanket is over 10 years old it should be replaced, never buy a second-hand electric blanket as you do not know how it was stored or how well it was looked after. If you are in doubt about your blanket replace it, the cost of an electric blanket is nothing compared to the loss of your home, possessions or your loved ones.

Checking your electric blanket

If your blanket or any part of the wiring shows any of the signs below you should replace it or find a qualified person to check it for you, if it has a BEAB safety mark a round symbol (the new sign is white capital letters on a black background) this means it's more than 10 years old and should be replaced.

1.    Fraying fabric

2.    scorch marks

3.    exposed elements

4.    creasing or folding

5.    soiling or damp patches

6.    ties damaged or missing

7.    loose connections

8.    worn flex

Use your blanket safely

To prevent yourself and other family members from being harmed, there are some useful suggestions below.

1.    Always follow the instructions.

2.    Never use of electric under blanket as an electric over blanket or the other way round.

3.    Ensure you keep under blankets flat and tie them to the mattress with the straps provided.

4.    Only leave a blanket switched on all night if it's designed for this to be done it requires a thermostatic control for safe all-night use, If your blanket does not have this switch it off and disconnect it from the mains.

5.    Don't get electric blankets wet, if they do get wet don't use them and never ever switch it on to dry it out.

Storing your electric blanket safely

Storing your blankets in the correct manner will ensure you get the best from it, and it will last a long time.

1.    Don't fold electric blankets they can damage the wiring, you are better to roll them.

2.    You can store blankets by putting them on a spare bed this keeps them flat and doesn't damage the wiring.

3.    Electric under blankets can be kept on your bed all year if you wish, it is best to disconnect them and give it a thorough visual inspection before use.

4.    Have your blanket tested every three years by a competent electrician. Ask at the shop when you bought it or your local trade in standards department at your local council often have free testing days available.

By checking your electric blanket regularly and replacing it when needed you will drastically reduce the risk of fire or injury in your home. You can get further information for your local fire brigade or the HSE website.

Comments 2 comments

Tinsky profile image

Tinsky 5 years ago from Brisbane, Australia

Great Advice Mr Fluffy. I would also recommend having electric blankets tagged and checked by a qualified electrician just as other appliances should be checked regularly.

mrfluffy profile image

mrfluffy 5 years ago from Northamptonshire Author

Good point, I absolutely agree.

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