When the seasons and temperatures change, homeowners tend to go out and purchase all types of electrical equipment that they use during the cold weather months. When this occurs, the risk of electrical fires, and even electrocutions are increased. Statistics tell us that during the colder weather months, specifically the winter season, the highest percentage of home fires is attributed to the use of heating equipment and portable generators that are frequently used as a result of many power outages that occur. Gervais Electric, Inc. wants to provide our valued clients with some important winter electrical safety facts and tips to help product your home and family in the upcoming colder months.
Cold Weather Electrical Safety Tips for Homeowners
Space Heaters – For starters, never let drapes, curtains, blankets, clothing or other fabrics come in contact with your space heater and be sure to plug the space heaters directly into an outlet that is not worn, never using extension cords. Extension cords typically do not have enough power to effectively run a space heater and can, therefore, result in a fire. Further, be sure to place your heater in a location that is not highly trafficked and absolutely away from children and pets so as to avoid having it get knocked over. Be sure to never run the cord of your space heater under the carpeting or a throw rug since that can cause the cord to become overheated and potentially start a fire. Finally, never ever leave a space heater on and running when you leave the room or leave home. Make sure to unplug it whenever it is not in use.
Electric Blankets and Heating Pads – For starters, you should never use both an electric blanket and a heating pad at the same time. Your electric blanket should not be tucked under the mattress and there should be nothing atop the blanket when it is in use. The blanket should be flat at all times and should not be folded since this can easily cause the blanket’s heating element to burn out. It is important to follow all directions that accompany your electric blanket or your heating pad in your efforts to avoid damage of any type or a fire and always, always unplug them when not in use.
OTHER IMPORTANT WINTER ELECTRICAL SAFETY FACTS AND TIPS
Downed Power Lines – Often times in a fall or winter storm there will be downed power lines. This is by far one of the most dangerous scenarios that can occur. It is mandatory that whenever you see a downed power line that you assume that it is an active power line and move away from it immediately.
Safe Use of Those Portable Generators – If you experience a power outage during a storm a generator can supply you with enough power to keep your home up and running until your electricity is restored. A portable electrical generator can certainly help to weather the storm and allow you to keep your food safe in the refrigerator, provide you with hot water from your gas water heater, provide you with a functional gas furnace and allow you to have a few lights on as needed. Be sure to check the fuel level of your generator, and when filling it be sure not to overfill it.
Next, be sure to check the oil level and the filter along with the voltage selector to ensure that it properly matches the outlet you are connecting it to. Finally, place the generator on a flat surface, in a well-ventilated area outside of your home. When ready to power it up, be sure to use a heavy duty outdoor power cord, turn the circuit breaker off, the power switch on, and pull the cord. Allow the generator to warm up just a bit before you turn the circuit breaker back on again. As a safety note, be sure not to backfeed power to an existing outlet such as a dryer, range or other large appliance in your home. Doing such would create safety hazards for the linemen by sending power back outside of your home.
We hope you have found these winter electrical safety facts and tips useful and want to remind all our valued clients that when you find yourself in need of electrical repairs or services, be sure to reach out to our highly skilled team of certified electricians. Gervais Electric takes pride in our marketplace and industry presence and is steadfast in maintaining our superior customer service and customer satisfaction rating. For all your electrical needs, be sure to contact the pros at Gervais Electric, Inc. where our customers are always our #1 priority!