Many people turn to space heaters or electric blankets for added warmth in the winter. Noble REMC and Safe Electricity remind those who use space heaters and electric blankets to keep safety considerations in mind and use these devices with caution. Here are some tips for using space heaters and electric blankets:
- Review and follow all manufacturer directions.
- Plug space heaters and electric blankets directly into outlets; avoid using an extension cord.
- Always remember to turn off space heaters and electric blankets when not in use. Never leave one of these devices on unattended or after going to bed.
- Many fires start when flammable products are placed too close to heating devices, such as space heaters. They should be kept at least three feet from blankets, clothing, paper, and other flammables.
- Place space heaters out of high-traffic areas and on a level, hard, non-flammable floor surface — NOT on carpets, furniture, or counter tops.
- Be aware of pets and children near heating appliances. Pets should never be allowed to sleep on top of electric blankets.
- Keep space heaters and electric blankets away from water. If they become wet, do not turn them on to dry.
- Regularly examine cords to make sure there is no cracking or fraying. Do not use damaged appliances. Also inspect your electric blanket to ensure that it is not worn or damaged. It should not have any charred or dark areas. Replace old or damaged blankets.
- Store your electric blanket in a manner which avoids creasing. If it cannot be stored flat, loosely fold or roll the blanket in a cool, dry closet.
To learn more on how to avoid electrical hazards, visit SafeElectricity.org.