Winter is finally here. It's time to start thinking about keeping the house warm and decorating for the holidays. It's also time to start thinking about electrical safety. Not sure how electrical safety ties in with warm houses and holiday decorations? Think about all the things you plug in to do both. Now that winter is here, so is the increased risk of electrical fires. Here are three simple steps you can take to prevent electrical fires in your home.
Keep Safe When Keeping Warm
Now that the temperatures have started to dip, you've probably started dragging blankets and space heaters out of storage. While you're taking them out of their storage boxes, be sure to do a safety inspection. Before you plug them in for use, look at their power cords. If you see any damage, such as loose connections, frayed wiring, or damage to the protective coating, don't use them. Those frayed wires and loose connections could cause an electrical fire.
Don't Go Overboard on the Lights
If you're going to be decorating your home for the holidays, safety should be your main priority. While the twinkling lights are beautiful and lend a festive touch to any home, too much of a good thing can be dangerous. Here are a few safety tips you should follow when decorating your home for the holidays.
- Never thread more than three strands of lights together in one place
- Avoid overloading your extension cords and power strips
- Always inspect the lights for damage before plugging them in
Know When to Call for Help
When it comes to electrical problems, your home has a way of sending warning signs. It's up to you to be familiar with what those signs are. When you're using your outlets to power space heaters and holiday lights during the winter, watch for the warning signs that could spell electrical disaster for you and your family.
When wiring overheats—which it can do when it's overused or outdated—it will begin to emit a strong electrical odor. If you smell an electrical odor in your home—especially if it's coming from inside the walls—you need to call the electrician as soon as possible. Your wires could be overheating.
If your lights are flickering—especially when you plug something else in—you may have a short in your wiring. Unplug unnecessary electrical equipment and contact your electrician.
In addition to paying attention to odors and flickering, you should also be inspecting your outlets at least once a month. Look for signs of scorching or melting. If you find damaged outlets, cover them with childproof safety caps and contact your electrician. Those scorched or melted outlets are overheating during use, which could lead to an electrical fire.
Winter is here. It's time to start thinking about electrical safety. Use the tips provided here to keep you and your family safe this winter. Speak to an electrician at a company like Beckstoffer-Welsh Inc about other simple ways to prevent electrical problems in your home.