The first-ever electric blanket was invented by Samuel Irwin Russell in 1912. He devised an electrically heated pad that would be kept under the bedsheets to keep it warm during cold winter days. There are different types of electric blankets available: under blankets, over blankets, duvets throws. But the over blanket is the most commonly used variant in the U.S and Canada.
What Is an Electric Blanket?
An electric blanket contains integrated electrical heating wires and is made from a heavy material to provide warmth and heat. The electrical cover has a series of wires interconnected and protected by a plastic outlet and are generally plugged into your blanket. We can set it at the desired temperature and can use it before bed or during sleep. In some of the newer model electric blankets, it enables us to set the time the blanket should turn on/off.
Is It Safe to Use an Electric Blanket?
Many electric blanket fire accidents have been reported till now, but those are mostly from the 80s and 90s and most of the accidents have happened with an electric blanket that is at least 10 to 15 years old. Newer model blankets also include carbon-fiber wires to ensure safety. But there are some reasons why you need to avoid using electric blankets.
- Pregnant women must avoid using electric blankets as it produces electromagnetic waves which may not be suitable for the developing fetus and may result in some dangerous problems.
- It is not suitable for those who suffer from anemia & diabetes. Children are more likely to develop allergies when using electric blankets.
- Some studies suggest not using electric blankets as it generates a low-level electromagnetic field which could increase the risk of cancer.
- It is also not advised to use electric blankets when you are sleeping with your pets as they may chew or claw the wires which may result in some serious problem.
- It is better to avoid the usage of electric blankets for the whole night as it may consume more electricity and that may increase your monthly bill. There are blankets available in the market which automatically get switched off after reaching a particular time, that can be used.
- Electric blankets are not safe to use as they may release carcinogenic fumes when heated which may result in kidney and liver damage.
What Are the Alternatives for an Electric Blanket?
- Placing a hot water bottle in the bed a few minutes before sleeping can make your bed warm. It is safer and easier.
- Shut your doors and windows a few hours before sleeping which could block the cold air from entering inside the room and use a soft and cozy blanket, this will probably be the best way for a happy and warm sleep.
- A thermostat can be fixed in the rooms to keep the room at the desired temperature.