Electrical safety is always important, but more so during the winter months. Space heaters, electrical blankets, Christmas lights, extension cords, any of these can pose a potential problem.
Because we use so much more electricity during the winter it’s vital that we consider electrical safety. Fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, and even causing blackouts due to overloading our circuit boards.
Electrical Safety During the Winter Months
Inspection and awareness can help keep your home and your family safe. Here are a few basic safety tips for electrical safety during the winter months.
Check All Cords for Fraying or Breaks
Extension cords, extra lamps, Christmas lights, cords on space heaters, anything that’s been in storage for many months can become damaged while we’re not using it.
It was damaged by rodents or just damaged because of old age. Be sure to check all of your cords before you plug them in. A damaged cord can give somebody a shock, electrocute them and even start a fire in your home.
Get Your Electrical System Inspected
Before winter sets in it’s a great idea to have your entire system inspected. An inspection is one of the best ways to prevent fire, shocks, and power outages. It’s far better to know if there is any damage or potential damage and have it repaired rather than finding out in the dead of winter.
Even if there isn’t anything wrong, it’s better to know if there are any potential problems that you may face down the road. It can be dangerous for many reasons if your electrical system conks out during a deep freeze.
Electrical Safety During the Winter Months: Update Your Outlets
If your home or electrical system is outdated it’s definitely time for an upgrade. Your electrical safety is only as good as your electrical system and your outlets. Ask them to install GFCI outlets anywhere there is water nearby.
Plus, with the extra need for additional outlets during the winter, you don’t want to risk overloading the outlets you have. Update and add a few more, to make sure your family is safe.
Unplug When Not in Use
Unplug space heaters, electric blankets, Christmas lights, or anything else you’re not using overnight or while you’re away from the house. You should also consider using a surge protector just in case.
Unplugging these appliances not only saves money on electrical bills, but it’s an important step in electrical safety. These devices or their cords can catch fire or get damaged during electrical storms or power outages. Power surges can cause fires, as well.
Don’t Overload Your Outlets
It can be tempting to add power bars, extension cords, and outlet extenders so you can plug in more items. Don’t do it. Electrical safety begins with not overloading your outlets.
Don’t use a bunch of extension cords as they cannot only trip people but they can get damaged and start fires or shock people. Power bars and extension cords are not meant to be a permanent solution, they are only for immediate use.
Keep Flammables Away from Space Heaters
Space heaters should never be left unattended. Also, keep anything away from them that can start on fire. Blankets, your Christmas tree, Christmas presents, clothes, boxes, or even decorations.
Anything pressing up against it can start on fire. This fire can rage out of control before you even know it’s been started. Electrical safety means being vigilant all the time.