Over the years, electric blankets have become a lot safer, but there are a few safety tips to practise regarding electric blanket safety. It's advised that young children or infants should not use one. Pregnant women and diabetic patients should ask their doctors first before doing so. Patients with pacemakers should also talk to their physician. When you buy a blanket, make sure you read all directions for the use and cleaning of it. Read the manufacturers label and instructional booklet. Be aware that some warming blankets should not be washed with water. When you are not using your bedding, turn it off. Make sure that it is always kept flat when on as allowing it to "ball up" could present a fire hazard if the heat is concentrated in one area of the bed. These heating products shouldn't be used on a waterbed and do not allow your pets near them in case they damage themselves or the blanket by chewing the wires. Keep alert for signs of wear and tear on your blanket and do not use it if you see any problems. Replace them every ten years and make sure any new ones you obtain are tested by agencies like Underwriters Laboratories. If you are using a second hand blanket you should take extra care in checking it over, although it is recommended that you invest in new ones that come with directions and warranties. Turn off the blanket before you go to sleep unless it is made to be left on all night, some are. Store the blanket flat if possible or roll it up; try to avoid folding. Check before you dry clean your blanket as it could damage the heater wire insulation. Never used pins near it or sit on top of it either as the insulation can be punctured by a broken wire and cause hazards. If you feel it's necessary, have your blanket tested every so often; you can always check with the store where you bought it to find out about testing or servicing if you are having a problem. It's recommended that you don't use a blanket that is more than ten years old. Look for an old BEAB safety mark, which is a round symbol. Be diligent and use common sense and your blanket will work well and give you enjoyment for a long time. Check it frequently for fraying fabric, scorch marks, broken wires, and loose connections.