Product recalls

Electric blanket safety advice

March 10, 2010

In the current cold spell, the National Consumer Agency urges parents, guardians and carers of young children and the elderly to check that their electric blankets are safe.

Buying an electric blanket

Always look for the CE mark (see image on the right). You should find the mark on the product itself, in its manual or on its packaging.

If you find one of these products without a CE mark, don’t buy it and contact the National Consumer Agency on our Consumer helpline at 1890 432 432 or (01) 402 5555, giving details of the product and of the place where you saw it on sale.

Ensure that it is manufactured to the European Standard EN 60335. Electric blankets manufactured according to international harmonised standards are presumed to be safe.

Before using your electric blanket

Before you use your blanket, make sure that it (or its cord) doesn’t 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
  • Do not position electric under blankets on top of the bed

Read the instructions provided, keep them safe for future reference and use the blanket correctly.

It is strongly recommended that electric blankets more than 10 years old – in particular those without overheat protectors – should not be used.

When using your electric blanket

Make sure that:

  • The blanket is laid flat on the bed as folds or creases can damage the internal wiring and cause overheating
  • With underblankets the lead and controller switch are hanging freely and not caught up in the blanket or damaged in any way
  • Underblankets are securely tied to the bed if tie tapes are supplied
  • The blanket is switched off or unplugged before you get into bed if it is marked as a pre-heating underblanket

Looking after your electric blanket

  • Have your blanket inspected by the manufacturer or qualified electrician in accordance with their instructions. They usually recommend inspections every three years
  • Only wash or clean your blanket in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Check the blanket frequently for detached tie tapes, frayed edges, scorch marks and loose electrical connections

Learn more

Read further advice on electric blankets on the ESB Networks website

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