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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!” To combat the cold season chills, 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. But are heating pads safe? Many Atlanta homeowners wonder whether heating pads are dangerous and whether similar products like electric blankets can start fires in their houses.
Can a Heating Pad Catch on Fire?
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.
5 Tips to Increase the Safety of Your Electric Blankets and Heating Pads
Here are a few heating pad and heated blanket 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 old, 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. You can buy heating pads that are specifically designed for pet use—they use a lower voltage that’s safe for your furry friends.
Do not fold electric blankets when in use as this may also cause overheating, which could lead to a fire.
Do not leave your heating device unattended or use while sleeping. Always turn the device off and even unplug it before going to sleep at night.
To reduce the risk of overheating and starting a fire, don’t use a heating pad with an extension cord or power strip.
By following these heating pad safety tips, you will greatly decrease the chances of a serious fire that could destroy your home and harm you and your loved ones.
Stay Safer and More Comfortable with Anchor!
Heating pads and blankets can keep you cozy while you’re on the couch or reading in bed, but they shouldn’t be used as a complete replacement for your furnace or heat pump! With regular HVAC maintenance at the beginning of every heating season, you can help improve the efficiency of your heating system, avoiding higher energy bills and unexpected breakdowns. For added convenience, join Anchor’s EZ-Pay program to receive two annual maintenance visits, discounts on repair services, and 24/7 emergency service, all for just $20 a month!