Winter Electrical Safety Tips
Winter electrical safety tips that will keep your home and your family safe this winter. Did you know that more electrical equipment is purchased during winter than any other time of year. With the increased purchases of electrical equipment and cold weather the risk of an electrical fire starting increases. The risk of electrocutions increases and the risk of injuries increases.
More home fires occur during the winter months and heating equipment is the second leading cause home fires in the United States. 65,000 home fires are attributed to heating equipment. These fires result in hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and millions of dollars in property damage.
In addition, portable generators are usually used during winter because of power outages. The customer product safety fee reports that 50% of all transportable generator-related carbon monoxide deaths occur during the winter months (November – February). Also, winter storms also can result in critical risks along with downed power strains and flooding.
Following manufactures’ instructions is the first step in avoiding electrical hazards and preventing deaths and injuries. In this article, you will locate protection suggestions and reminders that will help you and your family stay secure all through the winter weather season.
Winter Electrical Safety Tips for your Home
Electrical Blanket / Heating Pad Safety
- Electric blankets and electric heating pads should never be used at the same time.
- Before plugging in these items check your plugs for any damage and always inspect the cords of the heating blanket or heating pad. Never get into bed with a heating pad that is turned on. Unplug it first because it could overheat and catch fire.
- Electrical blankets should never be tucked under your mattress and don’t put anything on top of the blanket while it’s in use.
- Do not fold the electrical blanket while it’s being used because this could cause the blanket to burn out.
- Always follow manufacturer’s instructions when using an electric blanket.
- If you have recently washed the blanket make sure it is completely dry before use.
Space Heater Safety
- ALWAYS keep drapes and clothing away from the space heater.
- Plug space heaters directly into the outlet and never use extension cords. The reason for this is, extension cords does not have the power needed to power a space heater and using one could cause a fire.
- ALWAY put the heater in a place where it cannot be bumped into.
- NEVER use space heaters in the bathroom unless you have one that is built for that purpose.
- NEVER plug a space heater in to a warn outlet. This could cause the outlet to overheat and if left unnoticed could cause a house fire.
Note: The plug of the heater will usually get warm to the touch when the heater is in use. This is OK. Make sure that it doesn’t get hot.
- NEVER run the cord under a rug or carpet. This can cause the cord to overheat which could start a fire.
- NEVER use a heater where children play alone, as they could easily tip one over.
- NEVER leave the heater on when you are not around and always unplug it when not in use.
Other Winter Electrical Safety Tips
Stay Away from Downed Power Lines
This is one of the most dangerous things one can encounter. Always assume a downed power line is energized and move away from it right away. Now this rarely happens in New Mexico but always keep in mind to stay away as it could be deadly.
Use Standby Generators Safely
We have an entire article about standby generators in which you can learn about the benefits of having one at your home. If you own one already, don’t use it without a properly installed transfer switch. During an outage, electricity from your generator could back power lines, which will cause a dangerous situation for individuals trying to fix the power lines. A transfer switch prevent this from occurring by opening the main breaker to prevent electricity from traveling into the system. Transfer switches make using the generator more convenient because it allows appliances to be operated much like when the power is on. To be sure you have the switch installed contact Daniel’s Electric for more information.