That's Shocking! How To Avoid Electrical Emergencies This Winter

Posted on: 11 December 2017

Now that winter is here, there are a few electrical issues you should be concerned about. While electrical problems should be concerning all year long, there are some situations that only present themselves during the cold winter months. Each of these situations brings increased risk for electrical fires and serious personal injuries. To avoid these risks, here are four things you should do now that winter is here: 

Inspect Your Electric Blankets

If you like to stay toasty warm while you sleep, you might bundle up in an electric blanket. On their own, electric blankets aren't a hazard. However, if they're old, outdated, or damaged, they can pose a serious safety hazard to you and your home. If you're going to be using electrical blankets this winter, take the time to give each of them a thorough inspection. You want to pay close attention to the power cord, especially the part that plugs into the wall. However, you also want to check the entire length of the cord, and the blanket itself. Look for areas where the cord may be frayed, or where you can feel loose wires through the fabric. If you see any damage, you should discard the blanket right away.

Limit the Use of Space Heaters

When it comes to using space heaters this winter, you'll need to take some extra precautions, especially during overnight use. Space heaters are a great way to keep small rooms warm. However, they can overheat, which can pose a fire risk. When using space heaters, make sure you don't plug them into extension cords. Instead, plug them into surge protectors that have built-in GFCI switches. The GFCI switch will ensure that power is shut off if the unit overheats, or there's a power surge. It's also important that you only plug one space heater into each surge protector.

Ground Your Holiday Lights

If you're going to be decorating your home with holiday lights this year, make sure they're grounded. You'll also want to make sure that you don't attach too many strands to the same line. Attaching multiple strands, failing to plug them into a grounded, GFCI outlet, or using extension cords, can all lead to disastrous consequences. To prevent electrical fires, think safety first when hanging your holiday lights. Use grounded, GFCI outlets, and only attach two or three strands together per line.

Pay Attention to the Little Things

When it comes to preventing electrical problems this winter, you'll need to pay attention to the little things. Those are the issues that might seem inconsequential, but that could pose a serious risk. Some of the things you should pay attention to are electrical odors, flickering lights, and unexpected power surges. If you notice any of those things, contact an electrician as soon as possible. You could be at risk for an electrical fire. 

For more information on electrical outlet repairs, contact a local electrician. 


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