Home preparation for winter is the best way to brace for the cold months. Electrical appliance use tends to increase during the colder months of the year. With this increased use there is an increased risk of hazards and other conundrums.
With that in mind, consider the following tips for the upcoming winter to keep your family safe.
Install Additional Outlets
Have additional power outlets or sockets installed by a registered electrician. This will help avoid those circumstances where you have no option but to overload your existing sockets with so many appliances using multi adaptor plugs, due to the increase in electricity use during winter.
Turn it Off!
Before you go to bed each night, make sure to check if all electrical appliances and equipment are in the off position. This greatly reduces the risk of short-circuiting equipment due to power surges or fluctuations. In addition, this could save you a sizeable amount of money on your electrical bills.
Make it a routine to regularly check the condition of your wiring, sockets, plugs, switches and so on. These things get damaged or worn out over time, and when that happens you must have them replaced or repaired because the more they stay that way, the worse they get and the higher the risks of electrical hazards. The checks can and should be carried out by professionals if you are unsure of yourself.
Home Preparation Checklist
Last but not least, have an electrical safety checklist for home preparation and always run a check through it when getting ready for winters. A checklist ensures you don’t miss or overlook something, only for it to turn out to be the one thing you shouldn’t have missed. Here’s a comprehensive checklist that you can use to make your home winter ready.
Consider these following questions.
- Does your home have the correct electrical panels, plugs, sockets, and switches installed? If yes, check that no covers are open, cracked or unscrewed. If unsure, let a certified electrical contractor check it out for you and install as necessary.
- Do you know where your home’s main electrical panel is located? Are there any obstructions to accessing it easily and safely in case of a blackout? Are the switches and circuits inside it clearly marked and fully functioning?
If yes, then your home is winter ready. In severe winters, power fluctuations can trip switches that you will have to manually turn back on.
- Are your sockets and other power outlets properly loaded or are they overloaded and lacking surge protection?
If you are uncertain about this, get an expert electrician to tell you whether you are using your outlets the right way. As a guide, don’t use those plug in multi-sockets that don’t have overload circuit breakers or surge protection; ask a licensed electrical contractor for the certified power bars with surge protectors.
- Do you have or need a hard-wired surge suppressor that goes directly to the main electrical panel?
In most cases, a certified hardwired surge suppressor at the main panel will provide much greater protection for your whole house.
- Do you leave your non-essential electronic equipment plugged in when going for vacations or long trips?
If you do, then that needs to change. Only leave the most vital electrical equipment like a refrigerator plugged in. The others are much safer unplugged if you are going to be out of the house for a long while.
While many of the above sections are good to consider, there are a few more preparations you can take in order to ensure your home is safe.
Test Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are quite beneficial in most households. Without this vital tool, households would face the risk of home fires. According to sources, three out of five deaths involving fires were due to not having a smoke detector at all. Electrical fires are fairly common during this time of year
If you do own one, consider checking to see if the battery is functioning properly. Check the battery. Most smoke alarm batteries tend to need replacement ONCE every year. The smoke detector itself should be replaced every ten years.
Below are a couple of other random tips to prepare your home for the winter.
- Checking for flickering lamps and crimped extension chords
- Cover all boxes, plugs, and panels
- Test ground fault circuit interrupters
- If there are extension cords run underneath your carpeting, make sure the outlets are covered with childproof caps
- Install a certified surge suppressor
Call Randy’s Electric today for more information on home preparation for the winter!