Statistics show that electronics sales are up during December, which coincides with colder weather in many states in the US. The increase in electronic use may increase the chances of fires or injuries. Heating equipment causes over 65,000 house fires, which results in deaths, injuries and property damage. Cooking and portable generator fires are also common causes of fires during winter. There are ways to protect yourself and your family during the colder months by following a few safety tips.
1. Properly Install Generators
A winter storm can severely harm your electrical system and leave you without power. You don’t want to be without power during a cold night. Our electricians can help ensure your portable generator operates to provide safe electricity during winter storms. Portable generators produce carbon monoxide and should be away from your house. A dedicated circuit for your portable generator allows you to use enough wattage to run the generator safely.
2. Don’t Plug Space Heaters Into Power Strips
Never plug a space heater into a power strip since they can’t handle the high current that space heaters need. A power strip can melt, burn or catch fire from the high current of a space heater. The best option is to plug the space heater into a wall outlet. You shouldn’t plug anything else into the outlet, though. Keep a three-foot radius around the space heater since furniture and carpets may catch fire. A space heater is best when on tile or hardwood floors.
3. Never Connect Over Three Strings of Lights
Connecting many strings of Christmas lights may trip your circuit breaker or start a fire. LED lights use less energy and don’t get as hot as traditional ones. Shut off all your holiday decorations and lights when going to sleep or leaving the house. Plug the lights in to check if they all work. Strings of lights that connect should be the same amount of lights. Uneven light strings may burn out from differing voltage amounts.
4. Protect Your Electrical Cords
Many power cords have a chance of sparking, so they should be out of the way or behind furniture. Plastic cap covers can protect unused electrical outlets and keep children from touching them. Watch dogs and cats around power cords because their teeth and claws can damage them.
Injuries and fires increase as the weather gets colder in many states, but there are ways to protect your home and family. Many people buy lighting and decorations during the holiday season, which requires more safety precautions than other electronics. If you need an electrical inspection for the winter, call us at Circuit Doctor in Waldorf, MD today.