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Stay warm, but safe with electric blankets, heating pads

Even during winter in Oklahoma, we know that temperatures can still be pleasant at times. However, we also know they can change quickly, going up and down like a roller coaster. When they are down, many of us turn up the heat and perhaps even reach for an electric heating pad or electric blanket to stay cozy and warm. If that is your normal routine, the Grand River Dam Authority hopes you will keep these important safety tips in mind. We’re passing them along from the Electric Safety Foundation International (esfi.org).

  • First of all, heating pads and electric blankets are two separate types of appliances. The pad is meant to be placed directly on the mattress. Most importantly the two items are not meant to be used interchangeably or at the same time.
  • Before using either one, be sure to look for dark, charred or frayed spots on the pad or blanket or cracked or frayed electric cords. If you find any of these conditions, replace the pad or blanket.
  • After all, heating pads and electric blankets are the source for almost 500 fires each year and in almost every one of these fires, the blanket or pad was more than ten years old.
  • Remember, when covered by anything, including other blankets, pets, etc. an electric blanket may overheat. Do not allow anything on top of it when it is in use.
  • Also, never fold electric blankets when in use. Blankets that are folded or tucked in could overheat and cause a fire.
  • Finally, heating appliances should never be left unattended or used while sleeping.
  • Keep these tips in mind and stay warm, and safe, this winter. GRDA is Oklahoma’s largest public power utility, funded by revenues from electric and water sales. GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.

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