Danger of Electric Blankets

How likely is it that I will be electrocuted while using
an electric blanket. In particular, what if I wet my bed
while using one?

I think the best way to prevent electrocuting yourself is to buy a set of rubber sheets. With the rubber sheet in place, you would be isolated from ground, and could not be electrocuted. Plus, it would save your bed from those pesky urine stains! Hope that helped!

Jeepers. According to Google, the main danger from electric blankets isn’t electrocution but setting the house on fire.

“electric blanket safety” brings up a whole flock of UK websites talking about fire safety checks.

I had no idea it was such a big problem over there.

This site does mention that you shouldn’t use your electric blanket if it’s wet, but it seems to be so that it doesn’t short out and cause a fire.

Well, if we’re going to answer this question seriously. There should be no danger of electrocuting yourself by wetting the electric blanket. The urine would have to conduct the current from an uninsulated wire. If you have an uninsulated hot wire in your blanket, you would probably notice it before you wet your bed.

Don’t forget that nasty electromagnetic radiation! :stuck_out_tongue:


Our mains voltage on every appliance in the home is 220v, even the smallest thing, unlike the US where it’s 110v.

If anything goes wrong it has the potential to be more dangerous.

If you are laid in bed with it turned on you would soon notice it getting too hot, but if you just turn it on to warm the bed whilst you go away and watch tv any early signs of problems go unnoticed.

The problem is that they get stuffed away for the warmer months in cupboards with other household junk and are sometimes damaged, mainly the thermostats. When they are dragged out from under the pile and re-used disaster strikes.

I saw a TV show a while back that featured UL safety testing. Among the safety/durability tests were tossing a $100 bill into a dryer full of bricks to simulate years of wear & tear, and inflating a condom to be 3 feet long (who knew?) And they also tested electric blankets. To do that, they plugged them in, turned them on, and then put them underwater in some tubs and hand-washed them. And nobody/nothing got shocked. So I’m pretty sure you don’t have much to worry about, electrocution-wise. Just don’t do anything which could start a fire.

Is that *really * the best test they could come up with?!?! I can just imagine it. “Ok, now somebody has to shove thier hands in and see if they get electrocuted.”

…Probably not. I saw the show a long time ago, and I think the people had non-conductive gloves on, and they probably had some better way to measure it. I mean, this is a safety organization after all. But that is basically how they tested it, and the blankets didn’t give off any electric charge into the water.

To follow up on Mikahw’s point, I read an article a while ago, I think in Consumers Reports, that considered this issue.

Their conclusion was that the electromagnetic radiation is so low that it is not normally a problem, but there is some evidence that it could affect the development of a zygote in the days just after conception, when a minor error in cell replication could have significant consequences.

Their recommendation (out of an abundance of caution, pending further research): if you’re trying to make a baby, use traditional wool blankies. Besides, being just a bit chilly when you get into bed increases the snuggle factor :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you, Casdave. I had this bizarre mental image of hundreds of elderly British being burned alive in their beds every year, and “why have we not heard more about this over here”, etc. Didn’t think about the 110/220 thing.

Hey, when are ya’ll gonna join us in the 110 Volt Club? You’d only have to rewire your entire country, and since you guys are a lot smaller, you should be the ones to switch over. :smiley:

And besides–we’re right. :wink: