One of the most comfortable things on a cold autumn night is a warm, self-heated blanket tucked around your freezing toes! Electric blankets are one of the best modern inventions for warming up your body, but they can also pose safety risks to you and your home if they aren’t properly used. Before you get too cozy this season, take note of these safety tips for using electric blankets.
In the past, electric blankets were notorious for starting house fires. Now, though less common, electric blankets are still the cause of several house fires per year. The reason? Older blankets. Blankets that have been around for awhile are more likely to be worn through, and their rheostats (the part that gauges both the blanket heat and the user’s body temperature) are more likely to malfunction. When people fall asleep with old or malfunctioning blankets, they run the risk of overheating, suffering from skin burns, and, in some cases, ignition.
Electric blankets work best when left unobscured. As tempting as it may be to bunch up the blanket, sit on it, or lay it under your bed sheets, these things can trap heat and increase the risk of overheating and ignition. Moving the blanket around can also cause the fabric cover to slip away from the plastic heating part, which commonly leads to burns in users’ sleep. Play it safe and keep the blanket flat and uncovered while using it.
Cats and dogs love warm spots too, and they will take advantage of your electric blanket if you let them. It isn’t a good idea to give your pets access to the blanket, though. Teeth and claws don’t mix well with a blanket full of heating coils and electric current. If left unattended, your pets could easily create shock and fire hazards for themselves and your family. If you’re afraid you won’t be able to keep them away, consider purchasing a low-voltage blanket instead.
Winter weather brings an abundance of risks to your home. Make sure your house and belongings are covered by a solid home insurance policy from an independent agent! Not only can independent agents find you the best rates, but they get to know your family and understand the extent of coverage you need. Give us a call with any insurance questions you have today!