Nothing feels better on a chilly night than a warm electric blanket. Blankets and mattress pads can keep you warm. However, with the mattress pad, the heat comes from under you, so it feels warmer than a blanket. One will make a huge difference from the other, and both options have some safety concerns if used improperly. Manufacturers have made many changes in the last few years to help keep people warm and safe. Older blankets may not have all the safety features, but may work just fine.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you use electric blankets to keep a warm bed: DO
1. TURN IT OFF. If you can’t remember to turn it off when you get up, then put your blanket on a timer so that it shuts off automatically. While you are setting up the timer, you can also set it to come on half an hour before your bedtime, and crawl into the warm coziness. Having your bed controlled by a timer is the safest and most secure way to use it. Set it and forget it.

2. EXAMINE THE BLANKET AND CORD ON A REGULAR BASIS. Like every electrical device, the cords can become worn or damaged, creating a fire hazard. Be sure to inspect the entire cord, as well as both ends. They should connect tightly with no wobble or wiggle room. The blanket or mattress pad should likewise show no wear or exposed filament wires.

3. KEEP IT ON THE LOWEST SETTING ALLOWING COMFORT. Nothing is worse than crawling into a cold bed, cranking the blanket to a high setting, falling asleep warm and snuggly, and waking in a sweat. Instead, warm the bed gently before climbing in and set it at a lower temperature.

Here are a few DON’TS
1. DON’T LEAVE IT WADDED UP AND TURNED ON. This is a fire in the making. Your blanket should be spread out on a nicely made bed. This is one reason that a mattress pad is easier for kids.

2. DON’T PLUG IN A DAMP BLANKET. Since today’s blankets are machine washable, be sure it is fully dry after laundering. If something is spilled on the blanket, unplug it and clean appropriately. Allow enough time to let it dry thoroughly.

3. DON’T BURY AN ELECTRIC BLANKET UNDER A PILE OF COMFORTERS AND BLANKETS. If you are using one, then a light bedspread over it will suffice.

4. DON’T LEAVE SMALL CHILDREN ALONE. Children don’t manage their body temperature as easily as adults and will overheat quickly if an electric blanket isn’t closely watched. Even if the child was snuggling with you, make sure they get up when you do, or power down the blanket.

The only thing more important than comfort is safety. Being warm is not as wonderful if you have concerns about remembering when to turn it off, or if you don’t trust your kids to do so. It is not a good feeling to suddenly wonder whether you turned off the blanket, as you pull in to work an hour from home (especially if you tend to throw the covers into a heap when you get out of bed).

If you have any questions about the safe use of these wonderful appliances, or any other electrical questions for that matter, give Professional Electric a call. Visit us online at www.ProfessionalElectric.biz and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! We are available 24/7 for emergency services. Mobile, Alabama: (251) 473-5788 Baldwin County: (251) 929-8957.

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