It’s finally winter weather, and that means it’s time to bundle up. Break out the scarves, gloves, hats and blankets, too! But with the coziness comes certain dangers, especially with electric blankets. Here’s a list of dos and don’ts when it comes to using your extra warm blankets.
- Use a UL-rated blanket. When choosing an electric blanket, be sure it meets or exceeds the standards created by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a safety organization.
- Keep the blanket flat. While it might be tempted to bunch the blanket up or even fold it while it is on, we strongly recommend against that. Folding or bunching the blanket up could cause it to overheat, endangering you and your home. Always ensure the blanket is completely flat.
- Always keep the blanket on top of you, never placing it underneath you. If you put the blanket beneath your body, it could damage the internal coils.
- Always turn off and unplug the electric blanket after using it. Also, immediately unplug the blanket if you see discoloration or smell smoke.
- Discontinue use if the blanket stops working properly. Contact the manufacturer for advice if your blanket starts to improperly function.
- Never use the blanket all night. This endangers you and your home. The only electric blankets that can be used overnight are those specifically rated for overnight use.
- Never use electric blankets on infants, toddlers or people with disabilities. They cannot operate the heating controls themselves, which could lead to accidental burning.
- Don’t run the power cord between the box spring and mattress. This could lead to cord damage or overheating. Plus, it could also potentially cause a fire.
- Avoid twisting or pinching the power or control cords, which could damage them. Again, damage to cords could potentially cause a fire.
- Don’t use electric blankets on water beds or with a heated mattress pad at the same time. Either could potentially lead to a fire or physically harm you.
- Never wash your electric blanket. The twisting motions of the washer will damage the internal coils.
- Never place other items on top of your electric blanket. Items like stuffed animals, books, pillows and even pets can inhibit the heat from properly escaping. While your cat might love your heated blanket, it’s not safe for them to lay on it.