Written by Stu Kushner

Keep Your Home Electrically Safe During Winter – Part 1

Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) studies have found that the sales of electrical devices jump markedly during December. This significant growth in the number of electrical products, along with the cooler temperatures in much of the nation, increases the probability of electrical fires, injuries, and deaths. According to other studies, more than 40% of fire deaths happen during the winter season, and the kitchen is where more than half of home fires start.

It is important to perform several easy electrical appliance and device checkups to ensure that they are functioning normally and your home and family are safe from electrical danger. We also recommend that you call an experienced licensed electrician and request a thorough electrical inspection of your home so that you and your family will have peace of mind during winter. 

Electric Heaters

ESFI statistics show that during the colder months the probability of house fires is greater because of the increased use of electrical appliances. Electric heaters are one of the greatest consumers of power during the winter. Several methods will help make sure an electric heater will be safely used as listed below.

  • Review the service and maintenance instructions of the manufacturer before use.
  • Inspect plugs and power cords for damage or fraying.
  • Replace heater filter if due or vacuum to remove dust and debris prior to using.
  • Prevent overloading and fires by minimizing the use of extension cords, power strips, and adaptors.
  • Never leave a heater unattended, especially where there are walkways or kids.
  • Keep at least a 3 foot distance from flammable or moist materials.

Smoke alarms

Test each smoke alarm in your home to make sure it is working properly. If a smoke alarm is more than 10 years old, a replacement is probably required. Consult with a licensed electrician regarding the proper type, number, and placement of smoke alarms according to law. Consider changing the battery of every alarm if you are unsure of their remaining service lives. There are now 9V lithium batteries that can provide power to a smoke alarm for up to 10 years.

Part 2 will discuss GFCIs and Kitchen Appliances.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs. For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be very glad to help you.