Ahhh, cold winter nights. Roasting marshmallows by the fire. Binging the latest Netflix show. Fuzzy slippers. Sweet hot chocolate. And snuggling up on the couch under a blanket.
Is there anything better?
In fact, there is: snuggling up on the couch under your ELECTRIC blanket!
Electric blankets provide unmatched warmth and coziness when used correctly, but they can be dangerous, too.
Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind as you enjoy your electric blanket this winter.
Do: Turn off your electric blanket when not in use and when you sleep
It may seem obvious, but like any electric device (toaster, curling iron, heater) it’s not a good idea to leave your electric blanket on when you aren’t actively using it or nearby to keep an eye on it. Fires are unlikely, but they can happen.
Overheating while you sleep can also be dangerous. Fortunately, many newer electric blankets include timers that shut off heat automatically after a certain amount of time or if they get too hot.
Do: Inspect your electric blanket prior to use
Does your electric blanket look worn? Do you see frayed cords, burn marks, or exposed wires? Has it been a few years since you purchased your blanket? If so, it may be time to replace your blanket with a new one.
Older, damaged electric blankets are more likely than new blankets to cause fires or burn you from overheating. As noted above, many do not contain the automatic shut-offs or other safety features that are standard on newer blankets.
Do: Research your purchase
The internet makes it easier than ever to find the electric blanket that’s right for you. A simple search yields an array of blanket sizes, colors, weights, prices, and features. Plus, many sites include user reviews that provide helpful insights from current customers.
Do: Check with your doctor before using an electric blanket
People with certain conditions should avoid using electric blankets. To be safe, you may want to check with your doctor before using one. Also, stick to using regular blankets when keeping young children and pets warm.
Do: Store your blanket properly
Electric blankets have wires inside of them, so it’s best to avoid folding the blanket in a way that creates hard creases that could weaken or damage the wires.
Rather than folding, consider hanging your electric blanket loosely or rolling it up inside a container. Additionally, avoid stacking other items on top of your electric blanket.
Don’t: Buy an electric blanket second hand
Electric blankets have come a long way over the years; unfortunately, they didn’t used to be as safe as they are now.
To ensure your blanket follows the most up-to-date regulations, buy new, make sure your blanket has been approved by an independent laboratory like UL, and follow the usage instructions. In addition, if you have had your blanket for a while, make sure it hasn’t been recalled.
Don’t: Wash or dry clean your electric blanket
If you are concerned about keeping your blanket clean, avoid eating or drinking while using it or use a regular blanket while you sip on your cocoa!
Stay warm and safe this winter
Like a good electric blanket, safety comes first at Shockley Electric. Please reach out with any electrical safety questions. We’re happy to help!