Heating equipment causes over 65,000 home fires every year—but there are several winter electrical safety tips you can follow to protect your home or business from electrical fires.
Tips for Electrical Safety at Home
There are several ways to prevent electrical fires in your home:
Don’t Overload Your Electrical Plugs
Though winter makes the days shorter and darker, it’s important to avoid plugging in too many light fixtures at once, especially in power strips.
While extension cords and power strips are convenient, they often lead to fires when you overload them. It’s best to only plug one or two appliances into one outlet at a time.
Don’t Overuse Electric Blankets and Heating Pads
Who doesn’t love warming up with a heated blanket or pad?
While these heating tools are convenient ways to keep warm during the colder months, you should only use them for short periods—and never use them together. The combined warmth of a heating pad and blanket leads to overheating and electrical fires.
Never wash your electric blankets or pads in the washing machine, as they could cause electrical shock when they interact with water.
Lastly, never sleep with these heating sources turned on. If they overheat while you’re sleeping, you could be in danger.
Use Your Space Heater Sparingly
Space heaters are another great tool for keeping warm during the winter, but unfortunately, space heater fires are common.
How Often Do Space Heaters Cause Fires?
Space heater fires are responsible for 43% of home fires. It’s best to leave space heaters on for short periods and unplug them when they’re not in use.
Never leave your space heaters unattended, and keep them away from kids, pets, or anything else that could knock them over.
Remember to keep space heaters away from drapes, curtains, rugs, or other flammable materials. Following these guidelines decreases the chances of a space heater fire and keeps your home safe.
Hire a Professional for Electric Work
If you have electrical problems during the winter, like shortages or wiring issues, hire a professional to take care of them. DIY electrical projects cause nearly 500 deaths and $1.3 billion of damage every year.
In the winter, your heating system may overheat. This makes electrical work extremely dangerous, so it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
Do you need help with winter electrical safety?
Winter Electrical Safety Tips for Commercial Buildings
Commercial building electrical safety is vital in the winter. With winter storms taking down power lines and heating systems getting too hot, it’s important to follow these safety precautions:
Schedule Professional Electrical Inspections
Before winter begins, schedule an electrical inspection from a professional. Electricians can spot problem areas within your electrical system that you may not notice yourself.
With preventative maintenance, you save yourself money on emergency repairs and keep your tenants, employees, or visitors safe. An electrician should inspect your primary and backup systems, like heaters and generators, to ensure everything is working correctly.
Inspect Your Smoke Detectors
It’s difficult to keep a constant eye on outlet usage in your commercial building. Some employees bring space heaters to work or use heated blankets, and they might not be aware of the dangers of these heating tools.
To increase safety within your building, make sure your smoke detectors are working properly in the event of a space heater fire or overuse of outlets.
Use Heaters That Automatically Shut Off
Another helpful electrical safety tip is installing automatic heaters.
At the end of the day, when no one is in your building, your heat needs to be turned off or down. An automatic heating system reduces the chances of electrical fires while no one is in the building.
Set timers on your automatic heater, so by the time people arrive at work in the morning, the building is warm and starts cooling down as they leave.
Electrical Hazard Checklist
We’ve covered a lot of information, and it may seem like a lot to remember throughout the season. Follow this simple electrical hazard checklist to stay safe this winter:
- Don’t overuse space heaters, heating pads, or electric blankets.
- Don’t plug too many appliances into one outlet, power strip, or extension cord.
- Inspect your smoke detectors regularly.
- Have a professional install an automatic heating system.
- Have your home or building inspected periodically by an electrician.
By following these simple electrical safety tips, you significantly lower the chances of electrical fires in your home or commercial building.
Where Can I Get Help?
Paramount Companies is the place for you if you need an electrical inspection to ensure your systems aren’t overheating. From home wiring to backup generator installation, we’ve got you covered.
Contact our experts today to enhance your winter electrical safety.