Winter is a time in which house fires are more common. Often these fires are caused by electrical malfunctions that could be fixed by a licensed electrician. There are steps you can take to make your home safer for the holiday season and eliminate winter electrical hazards.
Checklist for Winter Electrical Hazards
- Check your outlets. Are they coming unscrewed or unstable? Do they work? Have you noticed any discoloration around the outlet? If you have any issues with your outlets, be sure to contact a licensed electrician like Raceway Electric to safely inspect and correct any issues.
- Are your outlets overloaded? It’s tempting to plug in extension cords with multiple outlets, but that may not be the safest course of action. Don’t create an “octopus” of cords into your outlets and spread out your electrical usage.
- Don’t use cords that are frayed, or with exposed wiring. Avoid the temptation to use Christmas lights that have bad cords simply because they still light up. If the cords are frayed, it’s time for new ones.
- Be sure your home doesn’t have any leaks that could fall onto electrical outlets, wires, or paneling. If you do have a leak, seek out the help of professionals including a licensed electrician for repairs.
- Electrical surges can destroy thousands of dollars in electronics and additional costs for professional wiring repair. Consider installing a certified surge protector in the main electrical panel to protect your home from damaging power surges.
- Watch for signs of problems. This can include smoke from outlets, unusual smells like something is burning, or sizzling sounds from electrical outlets. Other signs include lights that won’t turn on or off anymore. These issues indicate that you should contact a licensed electrician like Raceway Electric to investigate and fix the problems.
- While outside your home, utility poles can also cause issues in the winter if overloaded with ice. Be sure your trees are properly maintained so they are less likely to fall in severe weather and destroy electrical lines to your home. In the Wichita Metro area, contact Evergy if you have an issue.
- If you are leaving your home for an extended period, unplug all unnecessary appliances such as televisions, computers, toasters, etc. Only leave appliances such as the refrigerator and freezers plugged in. This reduces the risk of electrical fires and could even save money while no one is home.
Contact the insured and licensed electricians at Raceway Electric for any of your home or business electrical needs or to check your home for winter electrical hazards. Our goal is to make sure you have a safe and happy holiday season!