Since the 1900s, the use of electric blankets had been popular. But unfortunately, there have been several accidents which have been caused due to this, therefore, reading about the safety measures you can take, will help when you are using this blanket.
If the mercury level goes down below the zero mark, you can rely entirely on an electric blanket to keep you warm and cozy. These blankets have been popular since the 1900s when they were used to keep the tuberculosis patients, sitting outside on a chilly evening, warm. These blankets have grids of thin insulated wires which are used to generate heat internally.
Previously, adjustable thermostats were used to regulate the temperature, but since 1984, rheostats are being used, which not only measures the heat generated by the blanket, but also the heat generated by the user. Thus, you have more even heating and lesser hot spots. However, even these blankets have certain disadvantages. Since they use electricity, there are chance that they may catch fire and cause some major accidents. In fact, there have some cases like this. Hence, before using one, you should learn and understand some safety tips, so that you can prevent these unfortunate accidents.
Be careful while cleaning
The first thing that one should keep in mind regarding the safety use is how it should be cleaned. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using and cleaning the blanket. If it has been mentioned that water should not be used to clean the blanket, then follow it. Also, do not dry clean your blanket, as the solvent or fluid used will damage the heater wire insulation. Also, never use this blanket if you own a water bed.
Switch off when not in use
Switch off the blanket when not in use. It will reduce the chances of causing a short circuit.
Don’t fold your blanket
If you ball up or fold your blanket and keep it in one corner of your bed, there are high chances of it catching fire, as the heat might get concentrated in one place, where it should not be. Therefore, always keep the heated area flat. Never try to iron your electric blanket for any reason. Doing this will damage the heater wire insulation and may lead to a short circuit.
Keep your blanket away from
- Pets, as they may chew away the wire insulation or puncture it. This will not only be bad for the blanket, but even your pets might get injured as there might be a short circuit.
- Pins, as they may puncture the heater wire insulation.
- Pregnant women, as overheating may damage the fetus.
- People with an artificial pacemaker. Here, although the doctors have not reported any interference with a pacemaker, it is recommended that a person with an artificial pacemaker should not use this blanket.
- Diabetic people, as they become insensitive to heat. They lose the feelings of their arms and legs, thus they could suffer severe burns if the blanket heats up too much. If at all they want to use it, then just warm the bed, and then switch it off before going to bed.
Before buying one, you should check out certain things in order to prevent any kind of accident. Check for:
- frayed fabric
- scorch marks
- whether any internal parts of the blanket are exposed or not
- creases and folds
- soiled or damp patches
- the tie tapes either damaged or missing
- the flex worn out
- wire connections
- the safety mark around the blanket. If the mark is more than 10 years old, then do not buy the blanket.
Do not use a very old blanket. It will be a huge risk that you will be taking as you might have an accident. Some other tips are to replace the blanket after every ten years and get it checked after every 3 years by an expert electrician. Besides an electric blanket, to make your winter nights even more comfortable, you can also use an electric mattress pad. If you simply follow these tips, rest assured, you will not face any problem.