electric blankets pose a risk if you buy them from unscrupulous online sellers or if you use old, worn and dangerous blankets.
©FRANK PENNANT / AFP
La minute Tech
The British consumer association Which? discovered that electric blankets sold online can cause electric shocks.
Atlantico: The British consumer association Which? discovered that electric blankets sold online can cause electric shocks. What does their study say?
Morgan Bourven : Which? found that some of the electric blankets are of such poor quality that they can pose a serious risk to user safety, with the risk of electrocution and even fire.
This is an important topic as inflation and rising energy costs – especially in the UK – have increased the popularity of electric blankets, with people trying to minimize the use of their heating.
In total, nine of the 11 electric blankets purchased by Which? from third-party sellers on AliExpress, Amazon, eBay and Wish have presented issues with product manufacturing, packaging, markings and instructions. Some products had electrical wires that could easily be torn out. In addition, some were completely ineffective and didn’t work properly… which may ultimately be a blessing in disguise: at least, if they don’t work, users won’t be tempted to use them.
Does that mean all electric blankets are dangerous?
No, but you have to be careful when buying. Pinned covers are poor quality products, purchased from marketplaces. Which? also tested blankets purchased from reputable dealers and they were no problem: as part of their test, after measuring the effectiveness of the blankets, they washed and tumble dried them several times, then carried out a full electrical safety test. None had any problems.
In summary, electric blankets pose a risk if you buy them from unscrupulous online sellers or if you use old, worn and dangerous blankets. If you have an old electric blanket that shows signs of wear or shows visible wires, it’s time to change it.
What are the dangers of buying non-compliant electrical appliances?
According to the National Observatory for Electrical Safety (ONSE), there are 80,000 domestic fires each year in France, and 25% of them are caused by electrical malfunctions. Outdated installations are often the cause, but poorly designed accessories can also prove to be faulty.
In 2020, UFC-Que Choisir tested 20 phone chargers: half were dangerous! Poorly fixed low voltage cables, insufficient insulation voltage, lack of internal protection against overloads and short circuits… The risks of fire starting are real. During our tests, we observed electric arcs that were as impressive as they were frightening.
Because of these worrying results, we repeated the tests with extension cords, power strips, LED garlands and external batteries distributed by well-known brands or obscure marketplace sellers: here too, we pinned references that presented risks.
Marketplaces remove these dangerous products from sale when notified, but too often they reappear. As Which? in its study, a position shared by the European Consumers’ Bureau (BEUC), of which UFC-Que Choisir is a member, the only way to improve the quality of the marketplaces’ offer is to engage the responsibility of the sites that provide them. hosts. Currently, Amazon, eBay and others see themselves as mere intermediaries between buyers and sellers, and cover themselves by stating in their terms and conditions that they are not responsible for anything.