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Electrical  /  January 26, 2023

4 Electrical Safety Tips for Winter

Safety tips to consider during winter

During the winter, your electricity usage could undergo a net increase. On the one hand, you are no longer using the air conditioner, but you are probably spending more time indoors as the temperatures outside drop and the daylight hours wane. You probably have more lights on inside and keep them on longer, and you are probably also running more electronic entertainment devices, e.g., televisions, computers, or gaming consoles. More electricity usage means more stress on the system and a greater chance of a failure requiring electrical repair in Ottawa. Here are some safety tips to protect you, your family, and your electrical system.

1. Replace Extension Cords

Extension cords aren’t meant to be a long-term solution, but many people use them in the winter, particularly for their Christmas trees if the lights aren’t long enough to reach them.

The problem with traditional extension cords is that they can become overloaded if the demand on them is too great. Consider replacing them with heavy-duty extension cords, and be careful not to plug too many devices into the same one. Unplug the extension cord before you go to bed or when no one is at home.

2. Replace Old Outlets

Constant, repetitive use can put a strain on any part of your home’s infrastructure, and your electrical outlets are no different. Using high-voltage appliances with older outlets is a particular danger; not only could this wear out the outlets more quickly, but it could spark a fire.

Sometimes the worn-out outlets bear observable signs of strain. You should inspect the outlets around your home periodically and have Ottawa electrical contractors replace any that no longer look or function the way they are supposed to. Winter is a good time to do this. You can also ask the professionals to inspect the outlets to identify the ones that are worn out, but in either case, the contractors should do the actual replacements.

3. Childproof All Electrical Outlets and Extension Cords

Infants and toddlers are curious, they have fingers small enough to fit into electrical outlets, and are too young to understand the dangers they pose. This plus the increased use of extension cords during winter is good reason to use shields to childproof all electrical outlets in the house if you have young children. If you do not have young children yourself but intend to host extended family members who do, it is also wise to take this sensible precaution to avoid an unnecessary tragedy. Outlet shields plug into the outlets the same as any cord would. They are effective at preventing children from making contact with the outlets and easy to remove when no longer needed.

4. Clear the Area Around the Electrical Panel

The panel allows you to control the entire electrical system. It may shut off in the event of power fluctuations due to weather. One of the first things to do when the electricity goes off is to check the panel to see if this has happened. You should always keep a path to the electrical panel clear so that you can access it in the dark. In many homes, the electrical panel is in the basement, which is likely to be even darker than in upstairs areas

Since a lot of families use the basement primarily for storage, it is easy to let clutter build up around the panel, especially during the winter because you may be hiding surprise presents prior to the holidays. Try to organize your belongings so that they do not block your access to the electrical panel and get rid of anything you don’t need to keep.

Call Handyman Connection for Ottawa Electrical Contractors

Electrical repairs can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. Our electrical technicians have all the required credentials, extensive experience, and insurance in the unlikely event that something does go wrong. Learn more about the electrical services we offer.

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