Winter is here again, which means it’s time for darker days, colder temperatures, and longer nights. This also means more demand for power and hence increased risk of accidents. Winter also overlaps with family and friend gatherings, which often translates to a higher use of space heaters and more pressure on electrical outlets. For that reason, it is important to ensure your home’s electricity is operating safely.
Here are the top seven electrical safety tips for your home this winter.
1. Keep Electrical Outlets Covered With Childproof Covers
Electrical outlets are one of the most common ways children get shocked. Make sure to find some plastic covers with a locking mechanism, and check them regularly. Alternatively, you can place furniture, such as a table or shelf, over the outlet. This will prevent children from getting to your outlets.
2. Monitor Usage of Electrical Outlets
Make sure to count the number of plugs in each outlet. If you need to plug in an extra appliance, try an extension cord. You should note that extension cords can also carry safety risks and should only be used with low-amperage appliances, such as mobile devices. High-demand appliances, such as portable heaters, should only be plugged into a wall outlet.
3. Check and Replace Old Outlets
Older homes that have outdated electrical wiring and outlets with cracks in them can be more prone to accidents. If you notice any of these signs, call an electrician to replace the outlet as soon as possible:
- Excess discoloration around the outlet
- Loose sockets
- Broken plugs
- A lingering smell of burning plastic after an electrical incident
4. Keep the Placement of Extension Cords and Power Strips Safe
If you need to use an extension cord, try to avoid using them near water or fire. They should also be as close to the wall outlet as possible and should not be stacked on top of each other. Extension cords can easily be tripped over by children and pets. You should also remember to ensure that your appliance is fully plugged into the power outlet before you plug in the extension cord.
You should also ensure that your electrical cords and power strips don’t run under rugs or around furniture. Inappropriate covering of cords and power strips can result in frayed wires and increase the likelihood of sparks and serious fires.
5. Turn Off Appliances When Not in Use
Whether you’re away from home for a few days or just leaving the house for a few hours, you should turn off all appliances and devices. This will help prevent accidents in the event of a power surge or short circuit. Remember to also use grounded outlets, which are protected by a three-pronged outlet. These outlets have special protective mechanisms that help to reduce the risk of electrocution and fire in the event of a current leak.
6. Use Surge Protectors and Circuit Breakers
All electrical appliances in your home should have a built-in surge protection device that can protect them from overcurrents. If your electrical appliances lack a built-in surge protector, you can buy and install a whole-house surge protector.
7. Schedule an Inspection With a Qualified Electrician
During the winter, it can be hard to keep track of every appliance and device in your home. Therefore, you should schedule an appointment with a qualified electrician to check for undetected issues. This can help ensure that you have a safe electrical operation in your home.
Are you interested in more electrical safety tips for your home? If yes, call The Electric Company today. We are a team of well-trained and reliable electricians that has been serving the Modesto, California community for over 25 years. We provide quality electrical maintenance and repair services to both residential and commercial clients and will help keep you safe this winter. We also provide lighting services, EV chargers, and electrical panels.