Do you know how safe your new or old electric blanket is?

Here are some things to check before you turn the heat up

As we all look to keep our energy bills down whilst trying to keep warm this winter, some of us may be either digging out an old and pre-loved electric blanket or seeking to buy a new one. But do you know how safe it is? We recently did some electric blanket testing in Surrey and 86% of those tested were a fire risk. We're running some more testing events and if your blanket fails replacement blankets are offered, details below.

In the meantime here are some safety tips to consider:

New electric blankets

  • When looking to buy an electric blanket it's important to buy from a reputable retailer. Ensure the blanket carries a recognised approvals mark, such as the British Electrotechnical Approvals Board (BEAB) mark, or the International Standard number EN 60967. The blanket must also be CE or UKCA marked.
  • Don't buy a second-hand electric blanket.

Using your blanket safely

  • Before using the blanket, read and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Some can be used under the person in the bed others go over the top.
  • Check the electric blanket frequently for detached tie tapes, frayed edges, scorch marks and damaged or loose electrical connections and that the connector isn't over-heating. Also make sure that the control doesn't make a buzzing noise or give off a scorching smell.
  • Never use a hot water bottle in the same bed as an electric blanket, even if the blanket is switched off.
  • Unplug blankets before you get into bed unless they have a thermostat control for safe all-night use.
  • When storing an electric blanket, don't fold it as this may damage the internal wiring. Store flat or rolled up.
  • Get your blanket tested by a qualified electrician at least every three years.
  • If your blanket is more than 10 years old, you should consider disposing of it and buying a new one. Blankets being disposed of should be taken to a recycling facility which accepts electric and electronic appliances.

We can test your blanket for you

Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards will be doing some drop-in sessions during February with their approved tester to test resident's electric blankets. It takes about 6 to 10 minutes to do, so bring them along and know that you can sleep warmly and safely. Replacement blankets issued if yours fails.

The drop-in sessions are available from 10am to 3pm

Monday 27 February, Fairfield Centre, 34 Swan Court, Leatherhead, KT22 8AH

Tuesday 28 February, St. Mary's Community Centre, Stream Close, Byfleet, KT14 7LZ

For more fire safety tips during the cost-of-living crisis visit the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service web page.

More from health and wellbeing