Although the recent reports are mixed regarding the ground hog’s prediction for a longer winter or the arrival of spring, one thing is certain, “Baby it’s cold outside!” Many households have at least one heating pad and probably an electric blanket. Aunt Louise may have even given you one this past Christmas that is still sitting in the box. But as the temps drop, you may be searching for that electrical heat to warm up your tootsies. Take heed! According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), heating pads and electric blankets are responsible for causing approximately 500 fires each year. A majority of these fires involve electric blankets that are more than ten years old.
Here are a few safety tips to help keep you and your family safe and warm during the cold months:
- Always inspect the electrical heating device before use. Inspect for dark, charred or frayed spots on the pad or blanket. Look for any cracks or frays on the electric cord as well. If you see any of these worn areas, replace the device immediately. And if you suspect the heating device is over ten years, replace it to help reduce the chances of a serious fire.
- To avoid overheating and a potential fire, do not allow anything on top (pets, other blankets, etc.) of a heating pad or electric blanket when in use.
- Do not fold electric blanket when in use or this may also cause overheating, which could lead to a fire.
- Do not leave heating device unattended or use while sleeping. Always turn the device off and even unplug it before going to sleep at night.
By following these safety tips you will greatly decrease the chances for a serious fire that could harm you and your loved ones. Stay safe!