As the cold snaps roll in and winter approaches, homeowners across the country are adjusting their thermostats, preparing to unpack their winter clothes and adorning their homes with seasonal decorations. While the focus during this season naturally gravitates towards staying warm, it’s equally crucial to prioritize safety. Check out these eight safety tips to keep your winter warm and free from electrical hazards.
Inspect Your Heating Devices
Before the cold weather sets in, inspect your heating devices, such as space heaters and electric blankets. Make sure they are in good working condition. If you notice any frayed wires, unusual odors or strange sounds, consider replacing them with new versions.
Store Items Away from Heat Sources
While seeking warmth during the winter, it’s essential to ensure that flammable items remain far from harm’s way. Whether you’re using a fireplace, a space heater or any other heating appliance, maintain a minimum distance of three feet between the heat source and flammable objects, such as blankets.
Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide is a silent, odorless gas that can be produced by malfunctioning heating systems or generators. Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home to ensure early detection of any issues.
Monitor Electrical Use
As you bring out your heating devices and seasonal decorations, keep an eye on any additional electrical appliances, as they could overload your outlets. If you notice excessive use of electrical heating appliances, but your home is still too cool for comfort, consider exploring alternative, non-electric heating solutions. For instance, insulated window curtains can provide an energy-efficient approach to sealing warm air in and keeping the cold air outside.
Use Space Heater Safety
Space heaters can be a lifesaver during the winter, but they can also pose a significant electrical fire risk if not used correctly. For instance, always plug space heaters directly into wall outlets as power strips and extension cords are not equipped to manage the electric current required by most space heaters and could spark an electrical fire. Additionally, always place space heaters on a level, non-flammable surface and remember to turn them off when you leave the room.
Check Your Electrical Cords
Inspect all electrical cords for signs of wear and tear, especially those used for holiday decorations. Damaged cords can cause electrical shocks and fires. Replace any damaged cords immediately. Also, avoid overloading outlets with multiple plugs, as this could lead to overheating and fires.
Always Unplug Holiday Lights
The holidays are all about stunning light displays illuminating homes from lawns to living rooms. As you set up your holiday decorations, remember to follow lighting safety tips, including unplugging or turning off lights before bed or leaving your home. It is also helpful to use surge protectors to avoid voltage spikes.
Schedule an Electrical Inspection
Often, the greatest risk of electrical fires occurs due to outdated fuse boxes, faulty wiring and damaged wiring. Though using the tips we’ve listed here will help ensure a safe winter, the most effective way of preventing electrical issues is by scheduling a safety inspection. At Cajun Electric, our team of expert electricians provides thorough examinations of residential and commercial electrical systems, ensuring all wires and components meet appropriate safety standards. Upon completion, we offer a detailed report covering our findings and recommendations.
Learn more about our full range of residential and commercial electrical services, from lighting design-build to preventative care assessments and electric vehicle charger installations. Contact us today for professional electrical solutions!