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Electrical Safety Tips For This Winter Season

Family cuddled on floor with Christmas lights around them

When the weather turns cold, many homeowners lean on electrical devices to keep their homes cozy and warm. Unfortunately, many portable heating units pose fire hazards if safety standards are not adhered to. In fact, the National Fire Protection Agency claims that over 40% of home fires involve space heaters. Smith & Keene’s expert electrical team wants you and your family to stay safe this winter. Learn more about recommended winter electrical safety tips in this blog.

1. keep flammable items away from heat sources

Seek to remove any flammable items from around your heat source. Establish a 3-foot perimeter around any heat source such as a space heater, fireplace, wood stove, or other heating device. A three-foot perimeter surrounding the heat source can serve to prevent injuries to children and pets in the home as well.

Heat Source Safety
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2. Never leave heaters unattended

Turn portable heating units off when you leave the room. Always turn your heating unit off when you leave home and when you go to bed. Monitor heaters to ensure that they do not overheat.

3. monitor usage of electrical outlets

Do not overload electrical outlets. There should be, at maximum, only one high wattage appliance used per outlet. Many homeowners are prone to add more burdens to their home’s electrical needs with increased holiday lights and decorations. Monitor the use of your home’s electrical outlets.

overloaded power strip

4. do not plug space heaters into power strips nor extension cords

The safest way to power your space heater is to use a wall outlet with no other item plugged into the outlet. Power strips and extension cords are not equipped to handle the high electric current that most space heaters require. Using a power strip or extension cord to power a space heater could cause the strip to melt, burn, or even catch fire.

space heater

5. keep placement of outlets and power strips safe

Do not run electrical cords or power strips under rugs or behind furniture. Covering cords and power strips inappropriately can increase the likelihood of fraying wires and sparks turning into a serious fire. Keep outlets safe. Cover outlets with safety covers if you have small children in the home.

Outlet Safety

6. follow Christmas light safety tips

If you use electric lights on your Christmas tree, use a surge protector to avoid voltage spikes. Limit the number of stringed lights that you connect to one another when lighting your tree – a maximum of three strands. When you connect strands of light, ensure that the strands have equal number of bulbs per string. Always turn off/unplug holiday lights (both indoor and outdoor) when you leave your home and when you go to bed. Ensure that you use the appropriate extension cord for outdoor lights. You should only be able to use extension cords specified for outdoor use to power outdoor lights. Be cautious if decorating anywhere near a power line. Do not use electrical lights or decorations within 10 feet of any power lines.

Holiday lights laying tangled on the floor

Call The Experts

Following these steps will help to keep your home safe from potential electrical issues. If you have issues with your home’s electrical system – make sure you call a professional. The electrical team at Smith & Keene are ready to meet all of your home’s electrical needs.  Contact Smith & Keene today to schedule an appointment today!

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