Electrical hazards rise when the weather gets colder. To avoid contending with electrical hazards this winter, follow these seven electrical safety tips.
1. Make Sure No Flammable Items Are Near Heat Sources
Practically anything is flammable if it is too close to a heat source such as a space heater, fireplace, or wood stove. For safety purposes, make sure to set items at least three feet away from all heat sources to avoid fires. For added safety, set up parameters around heat sources to keep pets and children away so they do not incur injuries.
2. Use Space Heaters That Have Safety Features
It is recommended to avoid using space heaters if you can; however, if you must use them, choose ones that have safety features. For instance, select space heaters that will shut off when they tip. Also, use space heaters that do not get hot to the touch to avoid injuries to pets and children.
3. Do Not Leave Space Heaters Unattended
Never leave space heaters unattended. When you leave your home, turn them off. Many fires have resulted when space heaters have been left unattended because they cannot be monitored for overheating or other hazards.
4. Take Care Not to Overload Your Outlets
Many homeowners overload their outlets unnecessarily, and this leads to house fires. To avoid overloading your outlets, only have one high-powered electronic or appliance for each outlet.
5. Do Not Clutter Your Furnace Room
HVAC systems are usually stored in small closets known as furnace rooms. Many homeowners cram items into furnace rooms and clutter them, and this can lead to house fires because clutter is too close to the HVAC systems. If you will use your furnace room for storage, keep it clutter free, and make sure to store items at least two feet away from your HVAC unit.
6. Avoid Plugging Space Heaters Into Power Strips
To run your space heater safely, plug it directly into a wall outlet, and do not plug anything else into that outlet. Power strips are not designed to handle the high current from space heaters, and they can potentially melt and catch fire.
7. Be Careful Where You Run Cords
Be careful about the placement of cords. Do not run them under rugs because they will potentially heat up, melt, and start fires. Also, do not run cords in walkways because they can be tripping hazards, and tripping over the cords can cause wires to fray and outlets to become damaged.
In addition to following these seven safety tips, contact Sims Electrical, Plumbing, & Mechanical in Evansville, IN for an inspection of your electrical system. Our licensed electricians will thoroughly inspect your electrical system, advise you of any problems we find, and help you craft a plan for fixing them.