An electric blanket can be faulty because the manufacturer’s instructions have not been followed or simply because of it’s age.
There have been reports of numerous fires caused through the use of and old and damaged electric blanket.
Studies show that young children and people aged 65 years and over are at greatest risk of injury involving electric blankets. Never use an electric blanket in a crib, for a young child or for a handicapped person who is sensitive to heat.
Injuries and fires can be prevented if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and replace your electric blanket if is shows the following danger signs:
- Is more than 10 years old
- The fabric is worn or frayed.
- There are any scorch marks showing
- The tie-tapes (where originally fitted) are damaged or missing.
- The flex is worn or damaged.
- Any plug or control connections, at the plug, are loose.
- The heating wires have been damaged or displaced.
To check, hold the blanket up to the light. The wires should be evenly spaced and should not touch each other anywhere or;
If you are in any doubt whatsoever on the safety of your blanket.
Have your blanket checked by an expert once every three years, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
Check frequently for the danger signs.
Return the blanket to the manufacturer if there are signs of wear or damage.
If the blanket has PVC overheat protection system, as do some older blankets, check that the PVC material has not deteriorated over time.
So a few pointers to help keep you and your family safe:
- Always buy a new electric blanket. Second-hand blankets may be damaged and therefore not be safe.
- Make sure your blanket has an overheating protection system – this cuts the power off if the blanket starts overheating.
- Never use an electric blanket in a crib or for young children.
- Do not tuck-in, bunch-up, or fold over the wired area of the blanket.
- Do not use pins, they may damage the wiring.
- Do not have your electric blanket dry-cleaned; always follow the manufacturer’s care instructions.
- To prevent damage to wiring, do not store heavy items on top of blanket.
- Never put moth repellents in with your electric blanket.
- Make sure that the switch/heat control hangs freely, and that the electric flex is not twisted across the blanket or tucked under the mattress or covers.
- Switch an electric under blanket off before getting into bed.
- Make sure your under blanket is kept flat at all times.
- Tie the under blanket to the bed or mattress with the ties provided. This stops it slipping and creasing. Check that the head of the blanket is not at the foot of the bed.
- Never plug an electric blanket into a light fitting – it may be switched on unintentionally.
- Do not fit the blanket to an adaptor or multi-socket block with another appliance plugged in.
- Never use the blanket if it is wet, soiled, creased or ruffled. Never switch it on to dry it out.
- Never use a blanket with scorch marks or exposed elements.
- Do not use a hot water bottle and an electric blanket together.
So by following a few simple tips you will have a blanket that will give you a lot of safe, warm, cozy nights.