Electric blanket safety
Current safety marks
Electric blanket testing
Trading Standards; Fife Cares and the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service as the Community Safety Partnership hold free electric blanket testing events. This service is only available for Fife residents.
The project will resume in Autumn 2017.
The most common reason blankets fail is that due to their age, a fault has developed in the wiring or they don’t have an overheat protection system found in newer blankets.
Electric blankets should be tested every year, particularly if in constant use and at least every 3 years. We can't test electric blankets outwith the project testing events.
There's a risk when a block adaptor is used with a number of plugs that the angle and weight can increase the stress on the socket. Combined with the potential excess heat of multiple plugs, the adaptor could be a fire hazard.
Use a multi-way bar extension rather than a block adaptor, as this will put less strain on the wall socket. Some block adaptors don't have a fuse, which increases the risk of overloading and fire.
Electrical safety advice can be found at electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk.
Blankets that fail the safety test at each event are collected and handed over to a textile recycling company. They're cleaned, have the elements stripped out and re-used as a normal blanket or shredded for filling purposes.
In order to comply with EU legislation under the WEEE Directive (Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment), electric blankets should not be disposed of with general domestic waste.
Blankets should be taken to a recycling facility which accepts electric and electronic appliances.
Find your nearest Fife Council recycling centre.
When buying an electric blanket it is important to buy from a reputable retailer and to check that it has the UK safety standard mark. Look out for a third party certification mark on the blanket and packaging. This will mean that it has been independently tested and meets the latest UK and European safety standards. Examples of such certification marks to look for are shown on the right.
Don’t buy second-hand blankets as they may no longer meet safety standards.
If you already have a blanket, before using it, check the fabric, the power cable and controller for any of the following danger signs:
- Scorch marks or discoloration areas visible on the fabric of the blanket.
- Wires visible or poking through the fabric.
- The fabric is frayed or worn.
- Damage anywhere on the blanket, power cable or control mechanism.
- The control makes a buzzing sound when switched on or gives off a scorching smell.
- The blanket’s connector is damaged or over-heating.
If you are in any doubt about your blanket, replace it with a new one.
Make sure your blanket is tested every year, particularly if in constant use, or at least every 3 years.
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:
- Never buy second hand 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.
Registering your product makes it possible for the manufacturer to get in touch with you if it turns out that the item you’ve bought is somehow faulty or dangerous. Go to www.registermyappliance.org.uk (external link) for more information and to register your electrical products.
Electrical safety in the home
Electrical Safety First is a UK charity. Their mission is to help prevent deaths, injuries and damage caused by electricity by working in partnership with government, industry and others to help reduce the greatest risks. Advice on electrical safety in the home including a fact sheet on electric blankets is available at electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk
For a Fife Cares visit or home security survey please contact Fife Council contact centre on 03451 55 15 03 or visit Do it Online
For a Home Fire Safety Service please contact Scottish Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 0731 999.
Consumer and Business Education
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By Post: Kingdom House Kingdom Avenue Glenrothes Fife KY7 5LY