Friday, January 13, 2017

Safe slumber: Don’t take risks with your electric blanket

Colder weather lends itself to cozier beds, with warm pajamas, flannel sheets and heavy comforters combining to make the perfect winter refuge. For some people, that means adding an electric blanket, too. If that includes you, keep these tips from the Electric Blanket Institute in mind:
  • Make sure your electric blanket lies flat. Don’t bunch it, fold it or let it get balled up between the mattress and footboard, and don’t tuck it in. Heat could get trapped and damage the heating elements.
  • Protect the wires and cords from getting pinched. Don’t use electric blankets with adjustable beds, Murphy beds, pull-out sofas or recliners, where the heating elements can get caught and damaged.
  • Don’t use an electric blanket and a heated mattress pad at the same time. It can lead to overheating.
  • Don’t run cords between the mattress and box spring.
  • Keep pets away from electric blankets. Their teeth and claws can puncture wire insulation and damage the wires.

Also be sure to keep your electric blanket on top of your bedding. Don’t cover it with other blankets, pillows or stuffed animals when it’s on. Don’t lie on it, and don’t let your pets lie on it either. Turn blankets off when not in use.

Have you had your blanket for a while? Consider replacing it, especially if it’s older than 10 years. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), heated pads and electric blankets cause almost 500 fires each year – most of which involve electric blankets that are more than 10 years old. And remember, infants, young children, older adults, and paralyzed or heat-insensitive individuals should never use an electric blanket.

One extra safe sleeping suggestion: Don’t tuck electronics of any kind under your pillow. They can overheat there and start a fire. Set them on the nightstand or a nearby dresser instead.

The Electric Blanket Institute and ESFI have more tips on electric blanket safety, and our website has more energy safety tips.

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