Written by Walt Meyer

Preventing Typical Winter Electrical Issues at Home – Part 2

As discussed in Part 1, winter increases the demand for electricity in your home. As a result, this season is the most hazardous time for electrical fires according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI). Part 2 will discuss Portable Heating Appliances and Electrical Fire Hazards. 

2) Portable Heating Appliances

While many homeowners think using a small portable heater will save on power bills, they can consume a lot of electricity. They can also be unsafe if they are used improperly, such as using them near flammable materials. Older electric blankets can also be dangerous when their power cords are frayed or cracked.

Using extension cords to power space heaters can also be a serious fire hazard risk because they make it more difficult for the circuit breaker to trip when overheating. Always plug portable heaters directly into an outlet rather than using an extension cord or power strip, and unplug them when they’re not being used. Only purchase a unit that features an auto-shutoff when it tips over. Also check its power cord for wear and tear.

3) Electrical Fire Hazards

Although electrical safety is a year-round task, homeowners must especially focus on hazards related to electricity during winter. Below are two common causes of electrical fires to be aware of.

Extension Cords

Due to the fact that they affect the dependability of circuit breakers, using extension cords can be a fire hazard, and they should never be a permanent fixture at home. Providing the ideal protection from electrical fires, circuit breakers cannot trip if they are unable to detect an overheating appliance connected to an extension cord. A solution that will increase safety is having a licensed electrician install additional wall outlets.

Holiday Lights

Before decorating your home, inspect holiday lights and their power cords for indications of fraying and damage, which pose a fire hazard. If either is found, the wisest course is to purchase a new set of lights. Do not attempt to repair the faulty items yourself.

Electrical Services You Can Trust

Founded in 1991, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured. Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.