It’s no surprise that winter months bring increased potential for fire risks and electrical safety hazards. This winter, safeguard your loved ones and your home with these electrical safety tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation International.
1. Don’t overload outlets. Avoid using extension cords or multi-outlet converters for appliance connections––they should be plugged directly into a wall outlet. If you’re relying heavily on extension cords in general, you may need additional outlets to address your needs.
2. Never leave space heaters unattended. If you’re using a space heater, turn it off before leaving the room. Make sure heaters are placed at least three feet away from flammable items. It should also be noted that space heaters take a toll on your energy bills. If you’re using them throughout your home, it may be time to upgrade your home heating system.
3. Inspect heating pads and electric blankets. These items cause nearly 500 fires every year. Electric blankets that are more than 10 years old create additional risks for a fire hazard. Inspect your electric blankets and heating pads – look for dark, charred or frayed spots, and make sure the electrical cord is not damaged.
4. Use portable generators safely. Never connect a standby generator into your home’s electrical system. For portable generators, plug appliances directly into the outlet provided on the generator. Start the generator first, before you plug-in appliances. Run it in a well-ventilated area outside.