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East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo
Electric blankets

Electric blankets

Colder weather can bring the need to use electric heaters and blankets to keep warm.

Use these guidelines to reduce the risk of fire and check that your blankets meet safety standards.

Choosing your electric blanket

When choosing your electric blanket, you should buy it from a reliable source. Check that it has a UK safety standard mark.

This is a symbol that means the blanket has been independently tested and meets the latest UK and European safety standards.

The examples on the right show the type of symbols to look for.

Before you use your blanket, make sure that it - or its power cable - doesn't show any of the following danger signs:

  • scorch marks or discoloration areas are visible on the fabric of the blanket
  • wires are visible or poking through the fabric
  • fabric is frayed or worn
  • there is damage to the power cable between the plug and the blanket's control mechanism or between the control and the blanket
  • the control makes a buzzing sound when switched on or gives off a scorching smell
  • the blanket's connector - where the electrical cable plugs into the blanket - is damaged or over-heating

If you are in any doubt about your blanket, contact the manufacturer before you use it to make sure that it is safe. It may need to be replaced.

Storing your electric blanket

Even when your blanket is not in use, you can leave it on the bed all year round or place it flat on a spare bed. If you put the blanket away, it should be stored as the manufacturer recommends or as follows:

  • loosely fold or roll it in a towel or plastic bag and store the blanket in a cool dry place
  • let the blanket cool down before folding
  • don't use any moth-proofing chemicals
  • don't place heavy items on top of the blanket while it is being stored

Here are some further safety tips

  • always buy new when choosing an electric blanket - never buy secondhand blankets, they may not be safe and you can't be sure they meet current safety requirements
  • always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions before use
  • examine your blanket regularly for signs of wear or damage
  • never use an electric underblanket as an overblanket (or vice versa)
  • don't use the blanket while it's still folded or creased
  • don't use a hot water bottle at the same time as using your electric blanket
  • don't touch the blanket if you have wet hands or feet, and never use the blanket if it's wet or damp
  • don't insert or use pins to hold the blanket in place on the bed
Click on the picture to download the guide
UK safety standard marks
UK safety standard marks
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