When the cool creeps in, the electric blankets and portable heaters come out. The end of April signifies the start of cold nights in many suburbs across the country. As more and more families start dusting off their heating devices we thought now was the best time to share our best tips.
- Clean- Wipe off any dirt or dust that may have collected over the time the appliance wasn’t in use.
- Test- Plug your heater or electric blanket in and turn it on. Is it operating as normal? Are there any unusual noises? Does it heat up to the correct temperature? Test under your direct supervision
- Repair- If you find any faults or irregularities when testing your heater or electric blanket you should consider having it inspected by a professional appliance repairer.
- Replace- Heaters and electric blankets can last anywhere between a few months, up to 10 years (depending on the quality and amount of use). Keep track of the age of your appliances and replace as necessary.
- All electric blankets must carry Australian Standard 3350.2.17:2000, make sure any blanket you are looking to purchase meets this standard.
When In Use
- Position them away from combustible material (e.g. paper bins, curtains, carpet, etc.).
- Keep cords out of the way of children or pets (trip hazard).
- Keep the appliance in a visible place- this will allow you to monitor any signs of wear as they appear.
- Place the heater in a well-ventilated area- Leave enough space to avoid other furniture coming into in contact with hot elements.
- Turn the heater off when it’s not in use.
- Never use heaters in wet areas like the bathroom, kitchen or laundry.
- Always plug a heater directly into the wall socket. Never plug it into an extension cord or power board. If you require additional power points, a licensed electrician Adelaide or from your nearby location can help!
- Use the blanket to warm the bed then switch off when you get in.
- Turn off when not in use- remove the plug.
- Keep the cord and the switch outside of the bedding.
- Never iron your electric blanket.
- Store by hanging or rolling- folding can damage the wires.
- Don’t allow pets or small children to play near the blanket, teeth or a sharp claw can damage the delicate wires inside.
Go The Next Step
Being over prepared is always better than being underprepared in an emergency. This is especially true when it comes to electricity.
Everyone has heard electric blanket horror stories, and while these products are fantastic at keeping you warm overnight, need to be approached with extreme caution. As a result, you only need to search the term “electric blanket” on this ACCC product safety site, to see how many products are being recalled with safety concerns.
It’s important to ensure that your home has safety switches installed. Safety switches are devices that quickly switch off the electricity supply if a fault is detected somewhere in your home. They are highly effective at minimising the risk of electric shock, injuries and even death in an emergency.
Most newer homes will have these installed but if your home is older, or you are unsure whether safety switches are installed, contact a licensed electrician for advice.
We would also like to take this time to remind all our readers that smoke alarms save lives. In the event of an electrical fire from your portable heater or electric blanket (or any other fire in your home), a working smoke alarm will alert you of danger.
Homeowners should manually test their smoke alarms each month and replace batteries annually. If your home isn’t fitted with a smoke alarm or if you are unsure whether yours is up to standard, a licensed electrician can offer the best advice.
Keep warm and keep safe this winter!