Winter has well and truly arrived, so if you’ve been thinking about popping the electric blanket back on the bed, now is the time to give it a thorough check to make sure it’s safe to use.
Damaged electric blankets can cause an electric shock or even start a fire, so the New Zealand Fire Service recommends having worn blankets checked by a qualified electrician.
To reduce the risk of damage make sure your blanket is always flat on the bed and that the controls or cords aren’t twisted or caught under the mattress. Twisted cords are a common cause of electric blanket fires.
And when winter’s over, roll your blanket up to store for the summer months – folding can damage the wires.
There are some important things to remember when using electric blankets safely. Always switch them off at the wall before you hop into bed – it’s not only safer, it also prevents the risk of your overheating should you fall asleep with it still on.
It’s best not to use hot water bottles with an electric blanket, and to refrain from drinking in bed. And if your electric blanket gets wet for any reason, you’ll need to wait until it’s completely dry before using.
Of course, there are some alternatives to help keep warm and cosy during the cooler months. Our merino comfort socks are warm and luxurious with a non-restrictive top, so they’re ideal for people with fluid retention and circulation considerations.
Wheat bags are another option. Just two minutes in the microwave with a cup of water and you have a toasty treat for those chilly nights whether you’re tucked up in bed or relaxing in the lounge watching the telly.
You can download a PDF version of Home safe home, a booklet from the New Zealand Fire Service that is written with senior citizens in mind. You’ll find it’s full of ideas to make your home safer, including more tips about using electric blankets safely.