September 23rd, 2021 by
Are electric blankets really safe to use?
Electric blankets are great for the cold winter months and have a number of benefits in addition to keeping you warm such as improving your quality of sleep and helping to ease aches and pains. But just how safe are they? We’ve all heard horror stories about electric blankets overheating and even catching fire before but are these genuine concerns or urban myths?
Differentiating between older electric blankets and modern ones
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The technology and manufacturing processes for electric blankets has developed considerably since the time these stories of worrying incidents were common and this is relevant because there were much fewer safety features 10 or 20 years ago than there are now.
Some older models have been problematic in the past but modern electric blankets are packed with safety features that allow you to use them with full confidence.
The safety features in modern electric blankets
Look for the following safety features to give you peace of mind when choosing your electric blanket:
First of all, let us state for the record that electric blankets are highly unlikely to overheat due to their thermostats. However, for additional peace of mind, many also come with overheat protection. This means that should the blanket start to heat beyond a designated temperature, it will cut out completely.
Some worry about electric blankets being on all night and the safety risk associated with this. Again, it’s actually perfectly safe to have your electric blanket on all night but if you’re not comfortable doing this, or indeed you just don’t need it on continuously (many like the warmth to get them off to sleep but don’t want it on all night) a timer allows you to do that. Just set it to however long you want it to stay on for and it will turn itself off after that period.
If you are not necessarily worried about it overheating to the point where it could scorch or even ignite but do have concerns that it could be too warm for you and make you feel unwell or disturb your sleep, choose a blanket with a number of temperature settings so that you can choose the most appropriate heat levels for you. The more settings (and electric blankets can have up to 9) the more adaptable the heat is.
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Some blankets have dual controls so you can choose different settings from your partner, and some have foot zones if you want the bottom of the blanket warmer than the rest for those who suffer from cold feet.
On the basis that water and electricity don’t mix, some may worry that it could be dangerous if your blanket gets wet, for example, if you spill a glass of water or even if a child or a pet has a little accident on the bed. The wires inside all modern electric blankets are insulated so if you do spill, moisture will not soak through to any live wires. In fact, most electric blankets are fully machine washable.
That said, if any liquid does come into contact with an electric blanket, you should turn it off straight away as a precaution and allow it to dry out completely before using it again (it would obviously be a good idea to wash it if you spill anything other than plain water).
Safety depends on proper usage
While electric blankets are very safe due to all these features, their ongoing secure performance relies on how you maintain them. Just like any electrical appliance, they need proper care and use:
- Fit it to the bed properly. Wires can potentially be damaged if the blanket is allowed to bunch or wrinkle up in the night. Make sure it’s securely in place using its elastic straps or skirt. This will also be much more comfortable for you as well.
- Periodically run your hands over the surface to check for any wires that may have kinked, bent, or even broken. This is especially important when you get it out in the autumn after being stored over the summer.
- Wash according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Always remove the controllers and roll the blanket carefully before putting it into the machine. Allow to dry completely before use (never turn it on to help it dry out).
- Store properly when not in use. Roll it rather than folding it to protect the wires and don’t place heavy objects on top that can squash the wires.
All Homefront electric blankets have overheat protection, insulated wires, and a variety of timer and temperature settings, so you can buy with complete peace of mind.
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