Electric blankets

Electric blanket safety

To help you stay safe and warm in winter and to help reduce the number of unsafe electric blankets being used in homes, we recommend that you follow these simple steps when purchasing, using, storing and disposing of your electric blanket.

Choosing an electric blanket

When looking to buy an electric blanket it is important to buy from a reputable retailer and to check that it has the UK Safety standard mark. Don’t buy second-hand blankets as they may no longer meet safety standards.

Using your electric blanket

Do

  • read and follow the manufacturer's instructions before use
  • examine your blanket regularly for signs of wear or damage
  • use the blanket only for the purpose the manufacturer intended, i.e:
    • over-blankets must only be positioned above the occupant of the bed
    • under-blankets must only be positioned under the occupant of the bed
  • check the manufacturer's instructions for suitability to wash your blanket
  • carry out a visual check of the blanket to make sure the blanket is intact with no visible signs of damage caused in transport when first purchased
  • if the fuse in the 13 amp plug requires changing, a 3 amp BS 1362 fuse must be fitted

Don't

  • use the blanket whilst it is still folded, rucked or creased
  • use a hot water bottle at the same time as using your electric blanket
  • touch the blanket with wet hands or feet
  • insert or use pins to hold the blanket in place on the bed
  • use the under-blankets on adjustable beds, or if used on an adjustable bed, check that the blanket and cord do not become trapped or rucked, for example in hinges
  • use an electric blanket on the bed of a helpless person, an infant or a person who may have a condition that makes them insensitive to heat
  • allow the appliance to be used by young children unless the controls have been pre-set by a parent/carer or that you are satisfied that the child is able to use the appliance safely
  • allow people with pacemakers fitted to use heated bedding for all night use

Routine visual checks

Before putting your electric blanket on the bed to use over the winter months, take a few minutes to check that the blanket is safe for continued use.

Your blanket should be replaced with a new one if:

  • Fabric is worn or frayed.
  • Scorch marks or discoloration areas are visible on the fabric
  • Wires are visible or poking through the fabric.
  • There is damage to the flexible cord between the supply plug and the control and/or the control to the blanket.
  • The control is making a buzzing sound when switched on and/or is giving off a smell.
  • The connector fitted to the blanket is damaged or over-heating.

Storing your electric blanket

When your blanket is not in use, it should be stored as the manufacturer recommends and moth proofing chemicals should not be used on it, or heavy items placed on top of it.

It can even be left on the bed all year round, or loosely folded and stored in a cool dry place.

Safe disposal of blankets

If your blanket is more than 10 years old, you should consider disposing of it and buying a new one.

Disposing of your electric blanket should comply with EU legislation under the WEEE Directive. This means that blankets should not be disposed of with general domestic waste.

Blankets being disposed should be taken to a recycling facility which accepts electric and electronic appliances.

Check with your Local Authority for your nearest recycling centre.