As winter settles in, there are many things to worry about. Snow removal, heating, and winter driving are just a few. One thing that most people do not consider is that in the winter months their home may be more susceptible to fire than during any other part of the year. This danger is mostly due to heating equipment that can malfunction and cause damage to both your home and family. In order to keep your belongings and loved ones safe this winter, take a look at some electrical safety tips from Victoria BC electrician Milton Jaycox below:
- Before using a space heater, always make sure to read the instruction manual and check for a certified tester’s mark. Space heaters should be kept at least three feet away from materials that can catch fire such as bedding, curtains, clothing, rugs, and furniture. You should also regularly test your space heater’s auto shut off function, which should activate when the heater is tipped over.
- Keep any heating equipment away from water. You may want to dry your wet mittens with your space heater, but this can cause fire hazards. If you want to use your space heater in a bathroom, refer to the owner’s manual first.
- Be aware of using heating appliances around children or pets. Items may be stuck through the protective bars which can cause shock or burning hazards. A great way to avoid this is to turn off and unplug a space heater when not in use.
- Check your cords! Any cords with dark spots, char marks, or frayed edges should be replaced along with worn or old heating pads or electric blankets.
- Do not place things on top of heating pads or electric blankets, as they can overheat and cause risk of fire. Also be sure to never fold an electric blanket while it is turned on.
- Candles can make your home smell great, but can also be dangerous. Always be aware of lit candles and be sure to blow them out before leaving the room.
- In preparation for winter, have your chimneys and heating vents checked and cleaned. Unclean chimneys are at risk for chimney fires, which are often hard to detect. If you have a wood burning fireplace, you should hire a chimney sweep service about once a year.
Stay warm and safe this winter! If you are in the Victoria area and need an electrician, call Jaycox Industries for your next project.