Winter Electrical Safety Tips

During the cold months of winter you may not think about the dangers of house fires, but they do exist. Most house fires are caused by electrical issues in your home. It is important to follow a few safety tips to keep you and your family safe this winter.

DIY Projects
Many homeowners complete several do-it-yourself projects throughout the year. But not all projects should be completed by amateurs. If you have a project that involves electrical work, it is best to have a qualified electrician complete the work for you. For some they may be comfortable installing a new ceiling fan or light fixture, but if you are unexperienced these types of projects can be dangerous. Having an experience person complete these projects for you will not only decrease your safety risk, but also decrease the headache involved with completing these projects. Unforeseen circumstances can occur to make simple projects more complex, especially in older homes or in homes where the previous owner may have completed their own botchy do-it-yourself work.

Appliances often go ignored in homes unless they are in constant use. Whether it is a toaster oven, a blender or your iron, when small appliances are not in use you should unplug then to save on electricity. Another option is to use a power strip and power it off when the appliances are not being used.
When storing appliances on countertops make sure that the cord and appliance itself does not get wet, especially if near the sink area. Appliances should not be crowded together on a counter space, but spaced out.
If you leave your home for a long period of time, such as overnight or longer, check to make sure that you have unplug your appliances. If you have an outdoor outlet verify that it does not have an accumulation of ice and snow on it. Keep it cleared off and closed to avoid moisture seeping in.

Extension Cords
Extension cords are often used during the winter months to power snow blowers and other snow clearing equipment. Make sure if you are using an extension cord that the wattage and voltage are compatible with your power equipment and that the cord is not being dragged along a snowy or wet path. Your extension cord should also be equipped with a ground fault interruption device to avoid electrical shock. It is not a good idea to have extension cords ran through windows or doorways in your home. In fact, the National Electric Code (NEC) published rules for use of extension cords stating this fact. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions when using extension cords to make sure you, your family and home are safe.

Electrical safety should be important to homeowners any time of the year. To avoid a potential dangerous situation follow these tips. If you are in need of electrical services this winter look no further than Hufnagel Electric of Pittsburgh. The experts at Hufnagel can assist you with all of your electrical needs.