Marking the start of winter, the holiday season finds homeowners throughout Maryland prepping for a joyful time with family and friends. Many will hang colorful lights that bring cheer to neighbors and visitors alike. However, the most important thing to do is ensuring electrical safety during these colder months, when homes are most vulnerable to electrical fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Holiday decorations have electrical components that seem perfectly safe, but they can become electrical hazards if faulty. Wintertime appliances like space heaters and electric blankets may become dangerous over time from wear and tear. All of the above should be checked for safety by inspecting their cords for fraying or cracking. Below are other safety tips that will make your winter safer for visitors and all your family.
- Prohibit kids from playing around space heaters, fireplaces, and open flames like candles to help prevent fires or injuries. Turn off space heaters when they are not being used, especially those without a safety shutoff.
- Make sure the covers of electric outlets are intact by checking for cracking. In places where there is moisture, upgrade outlets to GFCI if they aren’t yet. Exposed wiring near water needs to be addressed by a professional.
- Have your home’s electrical panel inspected by a licensed electrician, especially if you cannot remember the last time it was checked. Electric usage goes up significantly in winter, and you may need an upgrade to meet this demand.
- Avoid overloading outlets with an excessive number of appliances and/or Christmas lights because they may overheat, leading to electrical fires.
- Thoroughly test your home’s fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, replacing batteries where needed. Replace those that are more than 10 years old with types required by Maryland law as of January 1, 2018. To increase your family’s safety, replace battery powered units with hardwired devices that are more reliable with the help of an electrician.
- If you haven’t yet done so, create an emergency and evacuation plan that your family can put into action during life-threatening situations.
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. \lsd