Electric blanket safety warning issued as temperatures drop

Electric blanket safety warning issued as temperatures drop

As temperatures nationwide plummet, many are using the best electric blankets to stave away the cold. Although they’re a cost-efficient way to keep warm and save energy at home, warnings have been issued concerning their use as Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue (opens in new tab) reveal that 76% of electric blankets they tested failed safety checks.

Out of 17 blankets that the fire and rescue service tested, 13 of them were declared unsafe to use. If you have an electric blanket, don’t panic – this isn’t to say that all electric blankets are unsafe, but simply highlights the importance of ensuring best practice when buying and using one.

White bed with two pillows and electric blanket atop of mattress

(Image credit: Vonhaus)

At Ideal Home, you can rest assured that our pick of electric blankets can be trusted. We wouldn’t recommend something we haven’t tested and used in our own homes. So, we’ve got you covered with some simple tips to ensure you’re using your electric blanket safely.

5 top tips for using electric blankets safely

1. Always turn it off before going to bed

Electric blankets are a cost-efficient way to stay warm during cold, winter nights. Presenter Alice Beer says she is ‘a fan of them’ and uses one to heat up her bed but ensures she always switches it off before actually dozing off.

Neutral bedroom with wall panelling

(Image credit: Future PLC)

2. Buy one that has thermostat control or an auto shut-off timer

It’s always the safest option to buy an electric blanket that has a thermostat control to keep it from overheating if you do plan to use it all night, or an auto shut-off timer for times you might forget to turn it off yourself. Our top electric blanket pick, the Dreamland Boutique Heated Underblanket (opens in new tab), has an auto shut-off timer for your convenience.

An electric blanket with dual controls

(Image credit: Silentnight)

3. Never buy second-hand

The London Fire Brigade (opens in new tab) advises to never buy electric blankets second-hand. If affordability is a concern, there are plenty of options on the market that are cheaper but won’t compromise your safety, like the Silentnight Comfort Control Electric Blanket, starting from only £31 at Wayfair (opens in new tab).

White bedding on top of mattress

(Image credit: Future PLC)

4. Keep it away from liquids

Abdul Rahim, IT professional and founder and CEO of Software Test Tips (opens in new tab) says that ‘electric blankets should only be used on a dry surface and not in locations where there is a risk of a liquid spill.’ If you spill anything onto your blanket, ensure it dries thoroughly before switching it on again.

bedroom with double bed and side table

(Image credit: Future PLC )

5. Check regularly for wear and tear

‘It’s important to inspect the cord, cable and plug every season to make sure that they are still in good condition and are not frayed or damaged,’ says Abdul Rahim at Software Test Tips. ‘If you find any signs of damage, it’s best to replace the electric blanket altogether.’

white and beige duvet cover set in bedroom

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

Alongside electric blankets, there are other cost-friendly ways to keep your house warm in winter – it might just take a little more resourcefulness from your side, but it’s achievable, and most importantly, can be done safely.

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