Winters can be harsh. They bring around frigid temperatures, chilly winds, sleet, and snow. This means that your property is more prone to damages during winters than any other season of the year. The dicey conditions of winter can significantly affect our day-to-day lives.
It is essential to maintain a good electrical safety standard throughout the year. But during winters, it becomes even more critical. Cold weather brings along its own set of challenges for you and everyone else.
We might not be able to control the weather, but what we can do is take correct measures to ensure maximum electrical safety. Here are a few electrical safety tips that you can follow to keep your home safe and warm during the chilly winter season.
Keep Heat Sources Safe
As the mercury takes a dip, many homeowners will look for ways to keep their homes warm. Where some rely on built-in fireplaces, many use electric space heaters. Although very convenient for keeping you and your loved ones warm, space heaters and other heating equipment need to be used with extra precautions.
According to NFPA, over 45,000 fires occur solely due to space heaters and other heating equipment every season. The most common reason for these fires was having something flammable near the heater. Use the following electrical safety tips for heat sources:
- It is essential to establish at least a three-foot boundary around the heater. No items should be within the boundary, and make sure that pets and kids stay out of it as well.
- If you are leaving your house, make sure to turn your heating sources off. Do not leave the heaters on when going to bed. It is essential to crosscheck and turn off all heaters before you hop aboard the Dreamline Express.
- Remember to frequently monitor the heaters to make sure they are not overheating.
- Do not use power strips or extension cords with space heaters. They draw high amounts of energy, causing the power strips to burn out.
Get Wiring Checked
Harsh elements such as hail, snow, and ice can damage wires. Damaged wires are prone to getting short-circuited and can lead to electrical fires. If you notice anything abnormal in your electrical systems, such as flickering lights, burning smells, burnt outlets, or crackling sounds coming from electrical equipment, immediately call a licensed electrician to diagnose and resolve the problem.
Left untreated, electrical problems often go from bad to worse and then devastating. It is best to resolve these issues as soon as possible to avoid any unforeseen consequences.
It is also essential to check that all the breakers are functioning correctly. Using heating equipment during the winter causes high current levels to flow through the system. If the breakers are not functioning correctly, it can lead to the wires overheating and suffering burnouts or even electrical fires.
Check Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
Ground fault circuit interrupters are circuit breakers that trip the system when they detect a ground fault. In a ground fault, electricity decides to take another path to the ground instead of installed wiring. This “other path” can be a leaking water pipe or even a human being.
GFCIs are designed to trip quickly to prevent any potential electrical accident. If a person touches the wiring, the GFCI will detect the difference and immediately trip the breaker. The person will receive a shock, but it will be more a jab than a life-threatening one.
To test the GFCIs, you will need to open the electrical panel and press the “Test” button on the GFCI breaker. This should cause the breaker to trip and cut off power to the entire circuit. To turn the power back on, switch the GFCI breaker off and turn it back on again.
Watch for Overloading
Severe winters often demand multiple heaters running in the house. These heaters draw a lot of power, and with multiple running, it is easy to overload the house electrical system without noticing.
Remember to check the rated amperes on a circuit and the load running on it. Failing to check the load can result in the breaker tripping and even cause damage to the wiring.
Last Few Words
We are sure that your DIY skills are something that makes you proud. But there is no substitution for professional advice. DIY work on electrical systems is dangerous and can cause damage to yourself and the equipment. It is best to hire a licensed electrician to do your electrical work.
We at Golden Electrical Service strive to provide you with the best solutions for all your electrical issues. Our electricians are certified, qualified, and highly experienced. We have years of valuable experience working with residential, commercial, and industrial properties. Please get in touch with us at email@example.com.