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6 Winter Electrical Safety Tips for Homeowners


Dec 07, 2020

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Winter is quickly approaching and, for many homeowners, that means freezing temperatures, less natural light, and an increase in electricity use. While the preference for a warm, well-lit home is only normal, an increase in your electricity use can also increase the risks associated with having electricity. Making sure you’ve properly prepared your electric system to keep you and your family safe is an important step to getting ready for winter.

 

Whether you’re in an area that usually expects heavy snow or if you mostly get cold rain and strong winds, there are several electrical safety tips you can follow to keep your home safe. 

6 Winter Electrical Safety Tips

1. Update Your Outlets

One of the best winter electrical safety actions you can take is to make sure all your home’s outlets are up to code, and that there are enough of them for all your electrical needs. Consider having an electrician check your outlets and install GFCI outlets anywhere water may be present (which may be more places than you think considering the fact that winter often presents an excess of rain and snow). 

 

Beyond that, make sure you have enough outlets in your home to avoid overloading any existing outlets. You can overload your electrical outlets easier than you think since you tend to use more lamps, entertainment devices, and heating appliances during the winter.

2. Get Your Wiring Checked

If your home has bad wiring then it could present a large problem for you in the winter when you’re using more lighting, more heating, and other appliances. Have a certified electrician check your wiring before winter sets in to look for loose, worn, or decaying connections and wires. They can also check for any other common electrical problems to get them resolved before winter sets in. Keep in mind that leaving bad wiring increases your risk of electrical hazards, often leading to more severe issues down the road. Taking care of electrical issues right away is the best approach to keeping your home safe.

3. Get to Know Your Home’s Electrical System

During the winter months, power fluctuations are capable of tripping switches, which means you may need to know how to manually turn them back on. That’s why one of the best electrical safety tips is to know where all of your electrical panels are, especially your home’s main electrical panel. Make sure there aren’t any obstacles preventing easy access in case you have a power outage. Know where the switches and circuits are, clearly mark them, and be sure they are all functioning properly.

4. Check Your Power Lines

It’s common during the winter for severe storms to take down trees and even power lines, especially if the power lines don’t have enough clearance from other objects. Go outside and visually inspect any of the overhead power lines running to your home. Check to see if they have an acceptable amount of clearance, and if they don’t, contact your local utility company to resolve any overgrown branches. This job is much harder to do when the worst of winter comes.

5. Turn Off/Unplug Appliances When Not In Use

This is a habit you should practice during all seasons of the year, but during the winter it is especially important. All lights, appliances, and other electrical equipment should be turned off or unplugged when they’re not in use. Before going on vacation, heading to bed, or even leaving the room, do a quick check to be sure there isn’t any energy waste. This will help you save on your electric bill while also avoiding overloading your circuits or a possible electric fire that could happen in response to a short circuit.

6. Follow Up On Any Leaks

If your home has experienced leaks of any kind—be it from the roof, the washing machine, or even under the sink—it’s important to get it checked and fixed. Remember that water and electricity never mix together well. All types of leaks are capable of negatively affecting your electrical system, as well as many other areas of your home. Make sure your home is properly waterproofed before winter comes to keep your electrical system, and everything else in your home, safe. 

Get Your Electrical Safe for Winter

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