Electric Blankets are Great, But Are They Safe?

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Electric Blankets are Great, But Are They Safe?

Are electric blankets safe?

We’ve all been tempted to lower the thermostat to save a few dollars on heating bills in the cold of winter. It’s actually very good for the quality of your sleep, with 67 being about the optimal temperature. Not everyone can be comfortable living as an Eskimo, so an electric blanket can be a great compromise at lowering energy expenses.

Always remember, however, that any devices that generates heat can pose a risk, especially when it’s damaged, old or misused. If you’re planning to use an electric blanket in bed, follow these practices to keep you and your family safe.

How Long to Leave It On?

Are electric blankets safe to leave on all night? Usually, a modern, UL Labs safety approved electric blanket is generally safe, overnight use is not recommended by safety authorities.

Ideal use of an electric blanket is to warm up the bed before you get in, then turn it off before you fall asleep. Higher end models have built-in timers that allow you the luxury of falling asleep in bed while it’s still warming up. Even electric blankets with manual switches usually provide enough warmth to make you comfortable even if you turn them off before falling asleep.

One common practice is to heat the sheet-covered mattress with the blankets pulled down. After a few minutes, pull up the covers and spread the electric blanket as the top layer. The other blankets will help trap heat in the mattress, essentially making the entire bed warm when you get in. Once your flip the switch off, you should feel warmth up to an hour, giving your plenty of time to drift off.

Check Electric Blankets Before Use

Electric blankets generally follow a simple design: a long-heat generating wire is sewn throughout the innermost layer. Unfortunately, the wires must be extremely thin to keep the blanket soft and flexible, so they become prone to easy damage and prematurely wearing out. Item one with handling electric blankets is to be very gentle.

You must inspect the blanket carefully before plugging it in and turning it on. Look for tears in the fabric, breaks in the wiring insulation, or any indications of burned areas. Definitely never use an electric blanket that has been patched or repaired. It’s just not worth the hassle.

The best way to store an electric blanket is to roll it up loosely, instead of folding it.

One Final Tip

Review the papers that come with a new electric blanket to determine the expected lifespan. These are only suggestions, but it’s actually a good idea to use them only for that very limited time. You risk fire or electric shock if you use them longer than you should, as tempting as that may be.

As you may know, electric blanks are some of the best tools in keeping warm on the cheap (when used properly and safely). Should you need cost-effective, professional and reliable service on your home’s HVAC system, contact us. We’re available even when the electric blanket isn’t working.