Most folks know the basics of electrical safety in their homes. And while there are a few simple mistakes that are often caused by holiday lighting and excessive use of appliances when preparing a holiday feast, we will not bore you with reiterating common sense warning, other than to say, be smart. You know that twelve strings of lights on your holiday tree should not be plugged into a single outlet. So don’t let your desire to create the perfect holiday atmosphere turn into a potentially life-threatening electrical fire in your home.
This year, we want to bring to your attention some severe issues that revolve around heating your home in the winter months. The National Fire Protection Agency reports that from 2011 to 2015, over 54,000 home structure fires were caused by heating equipment. And while everyone understands the importance of a warm home in the winter months, fire safety must also be taken into consideration. And here are two of the most essential tips you will ever learn to keep your loved ones and your home safe from a fire.
- Routine maintenance is critical to ensuring that any heating system is safe to operate. This includes a furnace, boiler, or any other method that you use to heat your home. Not only will regular maintenance catch tiny issues before they become significant, costly, and a risk of fire, but it will also provide much-needed cleaning of the system. Removing dust and dirt, checking electrical connections, and a thorough once over is an excellent investment to make to ensure a warm and safe winter.
- Use space heaters correctly. If you need space heaters to keep your house warm and comfortable, be sure to follow all of the manufacturer’s guidelines. The most important is to keep all flammable material away from the unit. A space heater can provide a massive amount of warmth that you want. But it can also ignite things like paper, blankets, curtains, and carpet with that same enormous amount of heat. And never leave a space heater unattended. Accidents happen, and those involving a space heater are often life-altering or even life-ending.
Use Your Generator Correctly
If you are fortunate enough to own a whole home generator, use it wisely. Just like space heaters and standard HVAC systems, maintenance, and proper operation are essential for a safe and warm winter using a generator. Have the unit serviced regularly by a licensed professional electrician. And follow all of the manufacturer’s guidelines for fueling and operation of the unit at all times.
Be Careful In The Kitchen
As the weather gets colder and the holidays are just around the corner, we all find ourselves in the kitchen more often. Hot food becomes a welcome treat after a long day in the cold. And the holidays would not be the same without a traditional feast. But you still need to be safe when you are working on these fabulous meals. Too many appliances running simultaneously can be an issue. And pay attention to your GFCI plugs if they begin to trip the circuit. You can reset the GFCI once if you think there could have been a small mishap. But if the problem continues, don’t ignore this safety feature. There is either an issue with moisture near the outlet or a problem with the power running to the outlet. Call in a pro to be sure you are safe.
Finally, never leave the kitchen unattended when you have multiple appliances in operation. An overloaded circuit will flicker or provide indications of a problem. But you must be there to see them to take fast action to protect your loved ones and your house. Any electrical fire caused by an overloaded circuit is too many because they can all be avoided using a little care and common sense.
If you are concerned about the safety of your home this winter, the function of your electrical system, or heating options, call (703) 463-9866. An Circuit Doctor pro will come to your home and provide an assessment of your electrical system, generator, and HVAC to be sure that you have no unwanted or dangerous surprises on the horizon this winter.