In order to cut down on heating bills and fuel usage, many families are adding more blankets to their beds and turning down the thermostat at night. If you find that you do not like the feel of a pile of blankets on your bed, you can use an electric blanket instead. This uses far less energy than heating your entire home, and still keeps you cozy during the night. Before you put your electric blanket on your bed, make sure you learn all you can about electric blanket safety, so you and those you love will be safe while you sleep.

First, before you purchase an electric blanket, make sure the intended user can use it safely. For instance, you should not allow an infant or very small child to use an electric blanket, because they can easily overheat and may not be able to get out from under a blanket that is not working properly. Similarly, anyone who cannot move without assistance should not use electric blankets. Also, pregnant women should not use them because of the unknown risk they pose to the baby. Diabetics should not use these blankets because they may not have adequate feeling in their legs or arms to note when the bed becomes too hot.

If you are in one of these categories, but still want the benefit of a warmed bed, consider using an electric blanket to heat your bed, and then unplugging it before you crawl in. You will then sink into sleep in a toasty bed, without the dangers of using an electric blanket unsafely.

If you are not in one of these categories, you can use an electric blanket without fear, but you do need to follow some important safety protocol. First, be very mindful of the placement of your electrical cords. They should not run between your mattress and box spring, as this is a fire hazard. They also should not be pinched in any way, such as could occur when using the product in an adjustable bed or recliner.

If you have a waterbed, choose another bedding option. Electricity and water are always a fire and electrocution hazard. For this same reason, do not drink while using an electric blanket, as you could spill on it.

Pets should not spend much time around electric blankets. Their claws could damage the blanket, or they could be tempted to chew it. These products are never intended to be used as animal bedding. Always store them out of reach of your pet

When you are not using your electric blanket, turn it off. Consider investing in a unit that has a timer and will turn itself off after you fall asleep. This way you will not run into problems with the bedding getting too hot when you are not fully aware.

Most of these rules are not difficult to remember if you use common sense about your warming bedding product. Remember, these blankets use electricity to warm you while you sleep. If you treat this electricity with the respect and concern it deserves, you can use the product without any serious problems.