Winter weather can wreak havoc on your home’s electrical system. Heavy snow and ice can damage power lines while freezing temperatures can cause thermal expansion in electrical wires, leading to short circuits and outages. When the temperature outside starts dropping, there is a higher likelihood that your home will encounter potential electric hazards. From space heaters to faulty wiring, there are many ways that your home can be at risk for an electrical disaster this winter. The following are nine tips for safeguarding your home’s electrical system from issues this winter.
1. Install Weatherproof Electrical Outlets
Many homes have outdoor electrical outlets, which can be highly convenient for powering holiday lights, running extension cords, or operating power tools. However, these outlets are often not weatherproofed, leading to electrical issues during winter. For example, water entering the outlet can cause a short circuit to start a fire. In addition, snow and ice can build up around the outlet, preventing electricity from flowing correctly.
2. Conduct an Electrical Safety Inspection
Many homeowners don’t realize that their home’s electrical system needs regular inspection to ensure it is in good working condition. A safety inspection can help identify potential problems before they become serious, preventing costly repairs down the road. Winter is a perfect time to have an inspection conducted as cold weather can put extra strain on your electrical system.
The cold weather makes your home’s wiring brittle and breaks quickly, leading to short circuits and fires. A professional inspector will check for loose connections and frayed wires and look for any signs of damage or wear and tear. They will also ensure that your home’s electrical panel is up to code and that all your smoke detectors are in good working order. Taking these simple steps can help protect your home from winter electrical issues. Residents of Cumming, GA, the Greater Atlanta area, and parts of South Carolina trust the technicians from Arc Angel Electric to conduct extensive electrical safety inspections to prevent electrical hazards.
3. Avoid Overloading Electrical Outlets
One way to help protect your home from winter electrical issues is to avoid overloading outlets. If you have too many devices plugged into one outlet, it can cause an electrical fire. So, make sure to unplug any unused appliances, plug a single device into each outlet, and spread them out if possible. Additionally, take caution when using extension cords, which can quickly become overloaded. If you need to use an extension cord, ensure it is appropriately rated for the task and monitor it closely for any signs of damage. Here are some items to check if you may be overloading your electrical outlets:
- More than two devices
- Extension cords
- High wattage items
4. Shield Your Electrical System From Water Leaks
A single drop of water can ruin your electrical system, causing shorts, sparks, and even fires. Winter is particularly hard on electrical systems as snow and ice can cause leaks that can lead to short circuits and other problems. That’s why shielding your system from water leaks is essential. The best way to do this is to install a water sensor on your main electrical panel. These sensors will detect even the smallest leaks, allowing you to take action before any severe damage.
In addition, make sure to regularly inspect your home for signs of water damage, such as dampness, mold, or mildew. To shield your electrical system from water damage, ensure that your exterior outlets meet weatherproofing guidelines. Inspect your gutters and downspouts to ensure they’re free of debris that could clog them and cause water to back into your home.
5. Switch Off Electrical Outlets Before Sleeping
Cold temperatures can cause ice and snow to accumulate on power lines and around electrical equipment in winter, creating problems with the flow of electricity. Ultimately, this leads to power outages and surges. Surges can damage electronics and appliances and even pose a fire hazard. By switching off all electrical devices and outlets before bed, you can help reduce the risk of winter electrical issues in your home.
6. Ensure That Your Electrician Is Licensed
While it might be tempting to try and fix electrical issues yourself, it’s always best to hire a licensed electrician. They have the training and experience to safely and correctly fix any problems. Touching exposed wires or electrical outlets and attempting to fix electrical issues can be extremely dangerous and are some of the leading causes of house fires during the winter. Hiring a licensed electrician can also avoid any potential hazards with DIY electrical repairs. So, if you’re considering tackling any electrical projects this winter, leave it to the professionals. Arc Angel Electric has licensed electricians who are only a call away from fixing all your electrical issues.
7. Install a Power Surge Suppressor
Power surges can occur when a sudden increase in electricity flows through the power lines. For example, this can happen during a winter storm when high winds knock tree branches into power lines. Surge suppressors are devices installed between your home’s electrical system and the main power supply. They work by absorbing excess electricity and redirecting it away from your home, protecting your appliances and electronics from damage. Surge suppressors can also help prevent fires by reducing the risk of overloaded circuits.
8. Develop a Safety Checklist
We recommend taking a proactive approach to avoiding winter electrical disasters in your home. One of the most efficient ways is to devise a checklist indicating the safety actions to take. So often, with many electrical issues to be addressed, it is easy to miss taking some precautions you had intended to perform. A checklist will guarantee you execute all the items on the list without overlooking or forgetting others. While every home might have its unique inventories, knowing how to prevent electrical issues is one of the top priorities on your safety list. Know the location of or have a professional install:
- Electrical panels
- Surge suppressor
- Extension cord covers
- Correctly labeled circuit breakers
9. Electric Blankets
As temperatures drop during winter, most homeowners increasingly use electric blankets to heat their beds before sleep. However, it would be best to exercise caution with using these gadgets to avoid any electrical accidents in your home as they occasionally overheat and might spark flames. For example, the devices should not operate for more than 30 minutes. Additionally, avoid putting large objects on the electric blankets and turn them off before bed. These measures will prevent any accidents posed by the incorrect use of electric blankets.
Rely on the Experts
By following these tips, you can help safeguard your home from winter electrical hazards. If you need assistance addressing potential problems in your home’s electrical system, don’t hesitate to reach out to Arc Angel Electric. Our experts will conduct an electrical safety inspection and fix any issues that may cause winter electrical disasters. Arc Angel Electric specializes in all commercial and residential electrical installation, maintenance, and inspection in Cumming, GA, Greater Atlanta, and parts of South Carolina. Contact us for all your electrical needs!