Electric blanket safety

Though electric blankets can be a great, cost-effective way to keep warm and cosy, it's important to use them with care. Use our guidelines to reduce the risk of fire, and keep you and your family safe.

Electric blanket - danger signs

To avoid an electric blanket fire, make sure that it (or its cord) does not 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 electrical cord 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 smell
  • the blanket's connector, where the electrical cord 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.

Electric Blanket Safety tips

  • always buy new when choosing an electric blanket - never buy secondhand blankets, as they may not be safe and you can't be sure that they meet current safety requirements
  • always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions before use, and use as intended
  • examine your blanket regularly for signs of wear or damage
  • do not touch the blanket if you have wet hands or feet, and never use the blanket if it is wet or damp
  • Store electric blankets flat, rolled up or loosely folder to prevent damaging the internal wiring
  • Always unplug your blanket before you get into bed, unless it has a thermostat control for safe all-night use.

Electric blankets should be checked by a qualified technician every three years for signs of wear or damage. 

Worried about energy costs?

If you – or a family member – is using an electric blanket because you're struggling with the costs of energy bills, it's worth knowing that there is a lot of help available. Citizens Advice provides lots of info about grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills or you can contact your energy company for advice.