With the holiday season coming up, now is the perfect time to have an electrical safety inspection performed in your house. This will make sure your family stays safe as you run the furnace more often, prepare to hang holiday lights, and hunker down during severe weather.
Electrical & Fire Hazards in the Winter
Electrical problems and home fires can occur any time of year, but winter comes with a specific set of risks. Here are some important facts to keep in mind:
- Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs more often during the winter than any other season. This is because CO gas is a byproduct of incomplete combustion, the process that furnaces and water heaters use to produce heat. This combined with the fact that you seal up your home tightly against the cold makes winter the most dangerous time of year for CO poisoning.
- House fires break out more often during the coldest months of the year. Typical holiday and winter weather culprits include space heaters, extension cords, candles, and dry Christmas trees.
- Electric shock can occur when you plug outdoor holiday lights into exterior outlets that aren’t ground fault circuit interrupters.
The Importance of a Winter Electrical Safety Inspection
An electrical safety inspection in the winter can uncover problems with your home’s wiring and electrical fixtures at the most opportune time to prevent putting your family in danger. Here are the electrical components that demand the most attention around the holidays:
- Carbon monoxide alarms: Winter is the season for home heating. If your furnace runs on natural gas or oil, it generates carbon monoxide. This gas is supposed to vent harmlessly to the exterior, but if something blocks the vent or the equipment malfunctions, your family could be at risk for CO poisoning. An electrical safety inspection includes examining every carbon monoxide detector in your home to ensure proper functionality for your peace of mind.
- Smoke detectors: With more home fires occurring between the months of December and February than any other time of year, it’s vital for every smoke detector to be up and running. An electrical safety inspection includes verifying the proper placement of smoke detectors as well as testing each one for correct functionality.
- Whole-house surge protectors: Winter storms have the potential to cause power surges, which put your home’s electrical devices, HVAC equipment, and appliances at risk of damage. If you have a whole-house surge protector, an electrical safety inspector will make sure it’s operating correctly. If you don’t have this protective system, now may be a good time to install one.
- Outdoor GFCI outlets: Hanging holiday lights could prove hazardous if your home’s exterior outlets aren’t up to code. All outlets with the possibility of water exposure must be ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCI outlets. An electrical safety inspector ensures you have the right outlets installed and makes any upgrades if necessary.
- Safety and security lighting: Homes are often the target of burglars around the holidays when these unscrupulous individuals suspect high-ticket items might be present. To reduce your chances of becoming a victim, you might have outdoor safety and security lighting installed. An electrical safety inspection involves checking these fixtures to ensure proper operation.
Schedule an Electrical Safety Inspection with Mr. Electric
Having your electrical system inspected is the first step toward ensuring your family’s safety this holiday season. Remember, only a trained electrician can determine if all your home’s electrical components are safe and up-to-date, from your carbon monoxide alarms to your smoke detectors to your GFCI outlets. To schedule an electrical safety inspection this winter, please contact Mr. Electric today.
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