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15 Winter Electrical Safety Tips

Did you know that there are more house fires in the winter months than in the rest of the year combined? As the weather gets colder and winter wears on in Post Falls, Idaho, more and more electrical products are purchased and used, increasing the likelihood of electrical fires and accidents. According to Electric Safety Foundation International, heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States. More than 65,000 home fires are attributed to heating equipment each year, resulting in hundreds of deaths and millions of dollars in damage.

The good news is, most home fires are preventable. Knowing what electrical hazards might be in your home and how to prevent them is the first step in preventing electrical fires. This winter, the experts at Mainstream Electric, Heating, Cooling, & Plumbinghave put together a list of winter electrical safety tips to help keep you and your family both warm and safe.

Electrical Safety Tips

  1. Avoid overloading your home’s electrical circuits by using octopus plugs and having too many things plugged into one outlet.
  2. Use high-quality surge protectors for expensive electronics to prevent electrical fires and damage to the equipment.
  3. When disconnecting an electrical cord, pull from the plug, not the cord itself.
  4. Do not use space heaters in rooms where children or pets are unsupervised.
  5. Turn off the space heater and unplug it when not in use.
  6. Make sure space heaters are at least 3 feet away from any combustible materials such as clothing, draperies, rugs, and bedding.
  7. Always follow manufacturers’ instructions to avoid electrical hazards and prevent injuries.
  8. Replace worn or old heating pads or electric blankets. These usually have a lifespan of no more than 10 years. Look for any dark, charred or frayed spots or damaged cords.
  9. Never use heating appliances, such as heating pads, electric blankets and space heaters while sleeping.
  10. Never allow pets to sleep on an electric blanket or place anything on top of it. It can cause the blanket to overheat.
  11. If you are traveling for the holidays or vacation, make sure that all heat generating electrical equipment is unplugged before you leave.
  12. Always match the power requirements of your decorations with the amperage rates of the extension cords you may be using. Make sure the cord is rated at least 20% higher than the connected loads.
  13. Turn off indoor and outdoor decorations before you leave home or go to sleep.
  14. When the power goes out, turn off any major appliances. Larger appliances left on can cause an over-load.
  15. Always keep a good supply of flashlights, batteries, and other such supplies in case of a power outage or emergency.

Remember, while winter is the most common time of year for home fires, most are preventable. Share these tips and set safety guidelines in your home. Do not attempt to fix electrical problems in your home on your home. This can lead to accidents, injuries and electrical fires. Electrical fires can start suddenly and in areas that are out of site. Regularly check your smoke detectors and change the batteries as needed.

If you suspect any electrical problems in your house, contact the experts at Mainstream Electric, Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing immediately. We are the home services company you know you can always count on! Call today at (866) 978-9297 to schedule an assessment.