One of the ways, which happens to be effective and convenient, is using an electric blanket. By the way, before you continue reading this article, it is important to understand how an electric blanket works. But if you already know that, you might be concerned about the electric blanket caught fire. There have been some cases where the electric blanket has caught fire.
But are the electric blankets safe? We can say they are safe. However, there are some exceptions. In this article, we will explore some of the aspects that make the electric blankets safe, along with the necessary safety precautions.
Why are electric blankets linked to fire breakouts?
The main reason why most people consider electric blankets unsafe is that they are known to catch fire. But why do they catch fire?
1. The blanket is worn out
One of the reasons for a fire breakout of an electric blanket is that the blanket itself is worn out. Specifically, if the blanket has been used for over ten years, there will be a high chance of it catching fire as it is being used at night.
2. Wrong storage
Another reason that can lead to a fire breakout is when the electric blanket is not stored properly.
Therefore, it is safe to say that the fire breakouts associated with blankets are associated with how they are used and stored.
3. Wires and cords
The electric blankets usually come with wires and cords that might be pierced, frayed, or shorted. In this case, there will be a high chance of the blanket to catch fire. Crimping cords can also cause hot spots that will then cause a fire hazard.
How Can You Be Safe When Using Electric Blankets?
Just because the electric blankets are related to fire hazards doesn’t mean that they are unsafe to use. On the contrary, these blankets are very safe to use. However, you need to observe the necessary safety precautions accordingly.
Here are some of the things you should do to prevent any possible fire hazard.
• Inspect the blanket before using it
Before you start using the blanket or even purchasing it, you need to start by inspecting it accordingly. Suppose the blanket has been stored for a long time, you must inspect it to see that there is no damage, especially related to electrical wiring.
• Ensure it is tested and approved for safety
It is important that the electric blanket is properly tested and approved by an independent testing lab. This way, you will know that you are about to buy and use an electric blanket that s properly tested and approved. Never buy or use a product that doesn’t have any mark of approval.
• Unplug it from the socket
Never ever sleep in an electric blanket as it is charging. Making this mistake can lead to serious electrical incidents like a fire hazard or an electrical shock.
• Go cordless
If you just can’t do without the electric blankets and you also don’t like the idea of having cords and wires twisting and causing a possible fire hazard, you can opt for cordless blankets. With the cordless blankets, you will still be enjoying the delivery of electric blankets without worrying about the cords and wires.
But still, you must ensure that you get a cordless heated blanket from a trusted brand. The blanket must have good customer ratings.
• Avoid going for the secondhand units
Sometimes, you might be tempted to go for a used electric blanket that goes for a cheaper price tag. Here, the used heated blanket will not only come at a low price, but it might expose you to serious accidents.
Those garage sales can be very risky. In the first place, you don’t know what the previous owner is selling the blanket. Plus, they might be selling it for a reason. Maybe it has some issues, and that is why they are sold to anyone that needs a heated blanket. So, the solution is to avoid going for the used heated blankets and only purchase a new unit.
• Follow the user manual accordingly
Before you can start using the heated blanket, it will be important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to check if the blanket is safe to use with other beddings or if it should be used on its own. Maybe using them with other beddings/materials can lead to fire hazards. That is why you should check the manual properly before you start using it.
The manual will also give you the proper guide on how to wash the blanket accordingly.
Who Shouldn’t Use a Heated Blanket?
So, electric blankets are generally safe to use. However, they are not appropriate to use them in specific situations. Generally, some people are not recommended to use heated blankets, such as;
• Pregnant women
Ideally, you should not use a heated blanket if you are expectant. The reason behind this is that the electric blanket can raise your body temp to 38.5 degrees Celsius/ 101 degrees F. That temperature is generally unsafe for the fetus.
If you really need to use it when you are pregnant, you can start by warming the bed 30 mins or an hour before you go to bed. All in all, ensure that you unplug it if it is corded or switch it off if it is cordless.
• People with diabetes
People with diabetes also considered unsafe to use heated blankets. Diabetes can lead to some complications, such as diabetic neuropathy. This is a condition that typically kills the nerves in an affected area. As a result, you will not experience any feeling or sensation in that area.
Here, you should avoid using a heated blanket because the condition might cause you not to know when the temperature is too high. In other words, you won’t even know if you are being burned by the blanket in a specific area.
• Infants/children under three years.
It is not recommended to use the electric blankets on infants and children under 3. The main reason for this is that the children won’t have control over the blanket. They cannot adjust the temperature as needed. Always talk to a professional to help you use the right blanket for children or know if and how you can still use the heated blanket under supervision.
Above all, ensure that you observe every necessary safety tips when using a heated towel.