An in-line fluid warmer for heating parenteral fluids, particularly blood, supplied from a fluid container through a flexible supply conduit. The fluid warmer includes a box-like enclosure containing a heated plate having a sinuously-shaped groove configured to accept and hold a length of the supply conduit in heat transfer relationship with the plate. A pair of temperature sensors monitor the actual temperature of the plate. One of the temperature sensors controls a voltage controlled oscillator, while the other is used to determine maximum permissible plate temperature. The voltage controlled oscillator supplies proportional control to the heated plate up to a predetermined temperature of 37.degree. C. for warming blood. In the event that the temperature of the plate exceeds the predetermined temperature, or in the event that component failure occurs, or in the event the maximum permissible temperature of the plate is exceeded, oscillation from the voltage controlled oscillator ceases, and the heater is de-energized. Consequently, the parenteral fluid such as blood is protected from overheating.