Expert Electric Blog

Winter Electrical Safety Tips

Although Christmas is now behind us, we are still deep in the midst of winter. The ground is frosty early in the morning, and the temperature throughout the day can easily fall below zero. When traversing through your daily routine this winter, be prepared for the worse and stop accidents in the home before they happen. Here are some winter electrical safety tips that could prevent serious injury and harm:

Keep away from downed power lines – A few weeks ago we discussed power line safety. This is a hot topic during the winter because roads are slippery and car accidents increase. If a car hits a power line and the electrical wiring falls down, keep at least three metres or 10 feet away. Power lines are very powerful and can cause serious electrocution if you are not careful. Keep your family and children educated, as they could come across a downed power line during their daily commute. Always call 911 when you see a power line down.

Place your space heater at a safe distance – Space heaters are a great way to keep specific rooms warm without ramping up monthly heating bills. Because of the high heat output of electrical heaters, it is important to keep them away from flammable material.  Ensure that they are not in contact with any furniture, rugs, and curtains. If you feel surrounding objects becoming hot, move the heater. Fires are easily started if the heater is unattended. Always turn off the heater when it’s not in use.

Ensure your backup generator is ready to go – As we said, dangerous road conditions can cause damage to power lines and in turn results in power outages. For those homes and businesses equipped with standby generators, it is a good time to have regular maintenance and check-ups done. Have a professional inspect the power generator to ensure that oil levels and gas levels are correct, and the connection to the home is safe and secure. If a power outage occurs, you want to be confident that it will power your home/business when it needs to.

Avoid using candles during power outages – Many people use candles to light their rooms during power outages. While this can deliver a nice ambience, it is very dangerous. If the candles are unattended or wax drips and causes build up around the candle, it can result in a fire. Instead, use flashlights or LED candles.

Unplug major appliances during power outages – During an extended power outage, unplug your major appliances (oven, fridge, freezer, television) and turn off light fixtures (You can leave on some lights so you know when the power returns). This can prevent power surges from occurring and damaging the appliances when power returns.

Prepare an emergency safety kit for long outages – To be prepared for extended power outages or even in the event of a serious natural disaster, have an emergency kit ready. The emergency kit should be readily accessible and contain batteries, flashlight, blankets/sleeping bags/warm clothes, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, and sufficient water for your family. This will keep your family warm, fed, and safe during an emergency. Check with your local safety authorities and put together a safety kit.

The winter can bring harsh weather conditions that affect our daily lives. With the proper precautions you can be prepared for the worst situations. If you have questions about your home electrical system during the winter or power generators, contact your local Expert Electric at 604-681-8338.