Explained: Are Heated Jackets Safe?
As winter approaches and temperatures start to plummet, keeping warm becomes a top priority for many people, especially those who have to engage in work or outdoor winter sports. Traditionally, people used to layer up to keep themselves warm. But extra layers often become heavy when worn for extended time. So, what’s the solution?
Heated jackets are a modern type of winter clothing that provides warmth to the wearer by using heating components powered by batteries. They are undoubtedly the most convenient and effective way to stay warm during cold weather conditions. But given that they are new to the market, many people have safety concerns (i.e., burns, shocks, and health issues) and are reluctant to put them on.
If you are also suspicious about heated jackets, continue reading.
In this article, we will explore how heated jackets work and address all the safety concerns that people usually have when trying heated jackets for the first time. In the end, we will be sharing useful tips to use heated jackets to stay warm in winter safely.
How do heated jackets work?
Heating jackets have a web of heating elements embedded in the fabric of the jackets. These heating elements provide warmth to the wearer when powered by a power source, usually a rechargeable battery, fitted in one of the pockets.
The heating elements are evenly distributed throughout the jacket but are often concentrated in areas such as the chest, back, collar, and sleeves.
In addition to the heating elements and battery, some heated jackets also come equipped with a controller that allows the wearer to adjust the temperature of the jacket. The controller may be located on the jacket itself or a separate remote control that the wearer can keep in their pocket.
Overall, heated jackets work by using heating elements and batteries to generate heat and distribute it evenly throughout the jacket. By understanding how these jackets work, you can understand whether they are safe to wear.
Safety concerns with heated jackets
Heated jackets are undoubtedly the most convenient way to stay warm during the harsh winters. But some safety concerns often worry wearers.
While these concerns are certainly valid, it is important to determine whether they are based on factual evidence or merely perceived risks. Let’s explore the validity of these concerns and uncover any potential safety issues associated with using heated jackets.
Risk of electric shock
Heated jackets use electricity to generate heat, which means there is a risk of electric shock if the jacket’s wiring or heating elements are faulty and there is current leakage.
Heated jackets are manufactured while keeping this risk of electric shock in mind. The wiring and heated elements are properly insulated to ensure that there is no room for current leakage. Besides that, most heated jackets on the market use low voltages ranging between 5V to 7.4 V, which is not harmful.
Catching fire due to overheating
Another safety concern with heated jackets is the risk of overheating, which can cause the jacket to catch fire. Again this is more of a perceived risk as heated jackets mostly use lithium batteries, which are safer and more reliable. Thus, your heated jacket won’t catch fire as some smartphones do. On top of all that, the temperature ranges of heated jackets are safe and cannot achieve the kindling point.
Running out of battery in cold
One practical safety concern with heated jackets is the risk of running out of battery in cold weather. If the battery dies, the jacket will no longer provide heat, which can be dangerous in extreme temperatures. To avoid this risk, it is important to ensure that the battery is fully charged before use and to carry a backup battery if possible.
Risk of cancer
There have been concerns raised about the potential health risks of prolonged exposure to electromagnetic radiation from heated clothing, including heated jackets. But these health concerns are based on hearsay, with no scientific proof. In fact, after an in-depth literature review of scientific literature, the World Health Organization (WHO) concludes, “current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields.”
By being aware of these safety concerns and taking appropriate precautions, consumers can safely enjoy the benefits of heated jackets during winter.
Tips for using heated jackets safely
From the above discussion, we have understood that most of the concerns related to heated jackets are merely perceived and not real. However, it is crucial that we do not become careless in the use of heated apparel. To help you stay warm and cozy with heated jackets safely, here are some useful tips for you:
1. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions:
The most important tip for using a heated jacket safely is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions down to a tee. This usually includes instructions on how to charge the battery, how long the jacket can be used, and how to care for the jacket, can you wear it in rain, can you wash it, how can you wash it, etc.
2. Inspect the jacket before use
Before you put on the jacket, double-check if everything is alright. Make sure that there are no signs of wear or damage and that all the wiring and heated elements are properly insulated, and nothing is exposed or damaged, even a wee bit.
3. Don’t leave the jacket unattended
While the jacket is in use, do not leave it unattended. This will help you monitor the jacket for any overheating or malfunction. When you put the jacket battery on charge, monitor it closely, unplug if it starts to heat up, and do not overcharge it. While lithium batteries used in heated jackets are safe and reliable, you should still be cautious.
4. Use the correct charger
Heated jackets come with a charger for charging the battery. These chargers that come along with jackets are specifically designed to optimally and safely charge the battery. Using an inappropriate charger could lead to overheating and even the explosion of the battery. Therefore, it is crucial that you only charge the battery with its original charger.
5. Don’t overuse the jacket
Given that heated jackets are powered by small batteries, they function for a limited time, requiring you to either replace the battery or recharge it as it depletes. Therefore, it is advised that you check the manufacturer’s instructions on run time for the battery on a full charge and never use it for longer than that time duration. Using it for extended periods will increase the risk of battery failure and
6. Store the jacket safely
When not using the heated jacket (for instance, during summer), store the jacket in a cool and dry place, away from heat or direct sunlight sources. This will ensure that the battery and heated elements remain intact.By following these tips, you can use heated jackets safely to keep warm during cold weather.