Electric blankets can help take away the chill on a cold winter's night. They warm your body and your room, keeping you toasty all night long. Though the heat is nice, electric blankets can cause damage to you and your home if not used correctly. Knowing how to use and maintain your electric blanket will keep your family safe.

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How to Use an Electric Blanket

Electric Blanket Safety Tips

Today's electric blankets are much safer than they were decades ago. Less wattage is used for electric blankets nowadays, so they are less likely to warm at such a high heat that they cause a fire. Most electric blankets come with a safety mechanism so they shut down after a period of time. Even with such precautions, it's best to know how to use electric blankets in a safe manner.

All electric blankets should undergo safety testing by a nationally recognized company, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). If the electric blanket packaging doesn't have a UL stamp of approval, use a different brand. It's better to pay more money for a product that's been safety tested than to pay a higher price for a faulty blanket.

Check Before Using

Always unplug your electric blanket when it's not in use, and check it for wear and tear before turning it on. A worn or torn electric blanket is a safety hazard. If the wires are frayed or show wear and tear, it's time for a new blanket. Don't fold your electric blanket as that can cause damage to its inner workings. Instead, roll the blanket before placing it in a closet or drawer.

How to Use an Electric Blanket

When you're ready to you use your electric blanket, spread it over the bed as you would a regular blanket. Take care to put the control elements at the foot of the bed so it's not close to your face or head.

Most electric blankets have removable cords and controllers to make for easier cleaning. Plug the control element into the blanket and plug the blanket into the wall. When you're ready for warmth, turn the controller to the desired settings. To avoid mattress damage, don't tuck your blanket under your mattress. Let the edges of the blanket hanging over the bed like a comforter or bedspread.

When used and cared for properly, your electric blanket should give you several years of use. Be sure to follow all of the safety instructions and check your blanket for wear and tear. Now, there's nothing left to do except snuggle under the covers and enjoy your warm bed.