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Winter Tips for Electrical Safety

During the winter, it’s easy to overload your house and put your family’s and electrical safety at risk. With the number of extra appliances, heating, and use your putting on your system, you’re at a greater risk of hurting the system and your quality of living during the winter months.

To help, here are some of our best winter tips for electrical safety.

1. Use space heaters safely and sparingly.

Keep space heaters a minimum of four feet from furniture, drapes or clothes and never leave them unattended when turned on. Never use an extension cord to plug space heaters into an outlet.

2. Be wary of electric blankets.

Never use electric blankets while sleeping. Dispose of blankets that have worn or damaged areas.

3. Make sure you have functioning Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors.

Are your smoke alarms in good functioning order or are they merely ceiling decorations? It’s important to make sure that you have an adequate number of smoke alarms throughout your home and that they are in good working order to keep your family safe. Testing is as simple as pushing the test button to make sure it beeps.

Changing the battery at least once a year is a good place to start. Not sure when the last time you changed the batter was? Try this – change your clock, change your battery! At the end of daylight savings (March), change your smoke alarm battery when you change your clock, that way you know you are entering the winter months with a working smoke alarm!

But if you haven’t done it yet, do it now.

Deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning increase during the winter months due to the use of common fuels like natural gas, wood or coal. Installing a simple carbon monoxide alarm can save your family’s life.

4. Consider generator installations and repairs.

It’s the time of year a winter storm can wreak havoc on home electrical. No one wants to be without the convenience of power. Make sure your portable generator is operating and is installed properly to help provide safe and continuous power when those ice storms hit. Portable generators should be kept as far away from the house as possible as it emits carbon monoxide. A dedicated circuit for your portable generator is always a good idea so you plug only the amount of wattage your generator can withstand. And if you are fortunate enough to have a whole home generator, make sure it is running effectively before storms strike.

5. Don’t overload circuits or wattage.

Despite the darker days, only use the recommended wattage for your light fixture. Don’t overload wall outlets and only plug three-prong cords into three-prong outlets. Use extension cords only for temporary purposes.

6. Leave rewiring and installation projects to the pros.

Any type of rewiring or new installations should be left to a professional as these projects most likely need to be done in compliance with the National Electrical Code to ensure it is done properly to avoid any potential hazards or problems with future electrical inspections.

7. Fireplace

Nothing beats curling up in front of the open fire in winter with a good book and a cup of tea, right? But, in order to do so safely, there are a number of checks to do prior.

Firstly, make sure the chimney is clean and any matches or lighters are stored in a safe place, away from children. Secondly, maintain a safe distance from your fireplace (at least one meter) and never leave it unattended – if you have children or pets in your home, why not set up a safety perimeter by placing a screen in front of it when in use. And finally, remember to extinguish any open flames or fires before going to bed, so you can sleep safe and sound!

Do you have any more questions about electrical safety for your home? Don’t hesitate to contact us here.