While we are in the palm of winter’s icy grip, keep these 6 electrical safety tips for winter in mind as you keep out the cold.
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 Carbon Monoxide Detectors.
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 with out 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.