Yes Winter Is Really Here

We all know it’s important to keep warm in winter, but unless you can afford to put the heating on all day, keeping your home toasty can be a challenge. So, if you’re using portable heaters or electric blankets then make sure you stay safe as well as cosy – here’s how.

Only use as instructed

If we’re honest, most of us simply don’t bother to read the instructions to products that we think are obvious to use – including things like portable heaters and electric blankets. But not reading manufacturer guidelines can mean missing out on essential safety advice.

For example, if you have an electric blanket check to see whether it’s an under or over blanket and make sure you only use it as it was intended. When it comes to storing them, check they’re not crushed or crumpled – which could damage the wires – and that they are switched off at the mains.

Portable oil heaters can also pose a hidden hazard because they have no obvious heating element so make sure you’re aware of the manufacturer’s safety guidance. Be sure to only place heaters on a flat surface and always switch off before you go to sleep.

Check for damage

As with any piece of electrical equipment, you should make sure it’s in good condition. That means checking wires aren’t frayed or exposed and that plugs are fitted securely.

Specific products come with their own red flags – electric blankets shouldn’t have any holes or worn patches, if there are and you can see the heating element, then it’s probably about time you treated yourself to a new one. Similarly, if you’re using portable heaters then casing should be intact with no cracks or gaps.

Trip hazards and flammable materials

Be sure to keep flammable materials away from heaters and ensure that wires and cables are neatly tucked away. If you can, think about where you’re going to put a portable heater in the first place to avoid moving it. If possible, place it somewhere near a plug socket to avoid trailing cables and put it where it can’t be easily overturned.

Figures from the London Fire Brigade show that more than 800[1] fires over the last five years were down to electrical heaters – that’s more than 100 preventable accidents every year, so it’s always better to be cautious.

Give your home a winter health check  

Now that winter’s well and truly here, there’ll be extra demands on your heating and hot water which means it’s even more important to check that wires, fuse boxes and sockets are working at full efficiency. To find out what you should bear in mind and be aware of danger signs to look for, visit our Winter Electrical Safety page.

If you’re worried about any of your electrics, then always make sure you speak to a qualified electrician – you can call us on 07976 685746 or email us at