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Avoiding Electrical Fires During Winter

Avoiding Electrical Fires During Winter

Tips To Stay Safe

Crackling cozy fires, vibrant lights, and warm drinks are just some traditions we love about winter.  Unfortunately, winter is also a top time of the year for electrical and home fires. Nipper Electric offers electrical troubleshooting services to help you stay clear of winter fire hazards. Here are a few main hazards to avoid so you can make this a merry holiday season.

Overloaded Circuits –

During winter, electrical loads increase. Jolly decorations, shiny new technology, appliances, humidifiers and portable heaters create further electrical demand.  All of those demands can overload circuits. When holiday season comes around this year, protect your circuits from overloading by:

  • Use one high wattage appliance in an outlet at a time. Only one plug in use at a time. Leave the other plug bare.
  • Check your wiring. Faulty wiring is a top reason for all electrical fires. If you see any signs, like sparking, plugs falling out, or hot outlets/plugs, call Nipper Electric immediately to check your wiring.
  • Know the power load of your electrical panel, upgrade if needed. Many panels already struggle with the extra load of new technology and endless charging stations. Add to that decorations, heaters, and appliances and you can overload your circuits. Nipper Electric can check your panel for you and upgrade it to current requirements or code if needed.

holiday tree on fire

Brighten Up Decorations

Twinkling lights and decorations are such a magical part of the holiday season. Many people drive from miles around to see brightly decorated homes and businesses. Whether you go all out or just putting a few trimmings here and there, holiday lights require safety measures.

  • Don’t plug in bunches of light strands at once. Three is the maximum, any more than that and you could blow fuses or start fires.
  • Check all cords and strands for wear and tear. Often holiday lights and extension cords come out after a long year in storage. Be sure to check each strand and cord for wear and tear that could be signs of exposed or faulty wiring. Also don’t place lights too close to clothes, papers or other easily flammable items.
  • Turn off you decorations when you leave the house or go to sleep. Your home will be much safer and your wallet will thank you. You’ll save even more money by unplugging decorations and avoiding standby energy drains, where power is still going to the plug even when nothing is on.
  • Switch to battery operated candles or lighting. Marquee signs, candles, and even many decorations can be powered through batteries to fit any design seamlessly and save you money.
  • Keep any decorated trees hydrated. A dry tree can quickly catch fire from hot lights or near warm fires. Be safe and water your natural tree.

Keeping Cozy and Safe

There’s nothing like coming out of the cold to cuddle up under a heated blanket, put your toes by the heater or enjoy a well-heated home. However, these little luxuries can turn dangerous if not used properly.  Stay safe during winter with these tips:

  • Turn off AND unplug any electrical blankets or heating pads. It not only saves you money but can also prevent circuit overloading or fires caused by overworked cords and heat.
  • Keep flammable objects away from heaters, portable and standard. Fires can easily start through contact with a combustible object, like papers or fabrics, being close to a warm surface for too long.
  • Install Carbon Monoxide/Smoke Detectors. These detectors are important for any home but especially those with products that naturally produce some amount of carbon monoxide. Homes that use fireplace, generators or kerosene heaters must be sure to install a carbon monoxide detector.

Stay Safe This Winter

This holiday season and all year long, Nipper Electric wants you and your home or business to remain safe during this most festive time of year. Call us at 757-842-1710 or schedule an appointment online, and get back to enjoying winter fun with family and friends.