Safety Sense

 Use Electric Heating Products Safely

Be mindful of potential hazards when using electric blankets, heating pads and space heaters.

When used properly and safely, electric blankets and other heating devices can help keep you toasty during cold winter months. Here are a few safety tips for electric blankets and heating pads to keep in mind:

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Purchase items only if they have been approved by an independent testing facility, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

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Inspect all cords and connections for cracks and frayed edges, which are a huge fire and injury hazard. Replace all electric blankets and heating pads that have faulty cords.

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Discard your electric blanket or heating pad if you see dark or charred spots on the surface.

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Do not put another cover on top of an electric blanket unless the safety instructions included in the packaging specifically state itís safe to do so. Some newer models protect against overheating.

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Once your electric blanket or heating pad is switched on, keep it laid flat ó a folded device can cause a fire, as can a blanket thatís been tucked in (which can bend wires).

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Never use heated bedding while asleep ó look for a model with a timer that switches off automatically.

SPACE HEATERS

If you choose to use a space heater to supplement your homeís heating system, some of the same rules of thumb apply, including purchasing a safety-certified model and reading the included safety instructions. More tips for space heaters:

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Keep units 3 ft. away from combustible materials ó such as bedding, drapes, clothes, and rugs. Space heaters also have parts that can spark, so avoid using them in areas where you store flammable liquids like kerosene and gasoline.

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 In general, plugging space heaters directly into a wall outlet is best. If you must use an extension cord, make sure itís the correct type and boasts the right wire-gauge size for your particular space heater. Otherwise, use a wall socket that can handle the load.

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Check safety instructions before using a space heater around water ó some models are not intended for use in bathrooms.

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Be sure children are supervised around space heaters. Curious exploration can lead to electrical shock and burns.

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Finally, unplug and store the space heater in a safe place when youíre not using it.

 

 

 

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