Fire danger with electric blankets!
The South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) is raising awareness about the fire risks associated with electric blankets.
All electric blankets sold in Australia must comply with strict safety standards, however, careless use can cause electric shock, fire, and sometimes even death.
Electric blankets are great to warm your bed on a cold winter's night but they need to be used properly and maintained just like any other electrical appliance in your house.
The MFS recommends:
- Always use the electric blanket as an under blanket only and don't use it on a water bed.
- Never pin the blanket to your mattress as you could damage the blanket's wiring.
- Never tuck an electric blanket under the mattress, fold it over double, crease it, extend it under the pillows, or leave clothes piled on it. This can cause overheating and scorching.
- Never wash or dry clean an electric blanket unless the manufacturer's instructions indicate that it is a "washable" type.
- Never fold an electric blanket to store it. Roll it up carefully to avoid kinking the element and store safely where nothing will be placed on top - or simply leave it on the bed switched off at the wall.
- Never strain or twist the electric blanket's power cord, or let it drape where it could be damaged by a bed leg or castor.
- Regularly inspect your blankets for wear or damage, looking for scorch marks, kinks, creases or lumpiness especially around the controller and where the cord attaches the controller to the blanket.
- As a final check, at the start of winter spread the blanket flat, cover with an ordinary blanket to retain to heat, and switch on to high for 10 - 15 minutes. Run your hand over the blanket to check for hot spots which indicate that the elements may be damaged.
If you have any concerns have the electric blanket checked by a licensed repairer.
Don't forget to turn it off when you get into bed. Don't leave it on overnight.
The MFS recommends you take a moment to download and read our home fire safety information sheet "Electric Blankets" to ensure that you and your family are fully aware of the fire dangers associated with electric blankets.