Sunshine Coast Electrician Shares Winter Safety Tips

Winter Electrical Safety Tips

Each year, with the onset of winter, it is alarming to note that the incidence of fires in people’s homes increases. Some of the reasons for this are faults in appliances which have been stored away during the summer months (such as room heaters and electric blankets) as well as old household wiring, improper use of extension cords and overloaded circuits.  By taking a few simple precautions with the seasonal electrical appliances we use, and our winter electrical safety tips below, so many of these fires can be prevented.

There is nothing like the cozy warmth of an electric blanket in winter, but you need to be mindful of a few things to ensure they remain safe to use. Firstly, always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, and follow them. Before using those for the first time each winter carefully run your hands over the unfolded blanket to check for anything sharp such as a wire that may have broken during storage. Carefully check the plug and cord for any visible signs of wear or damage and never use an electric blanket with exposed wires or scorch marks.

To confirm your electric blanket is safe to use have it checked by a licensed electrical contractor. The dangers are too high to risk the safety of your family! If an electric blanket is more than 10 years old consider discarding it and buying a new one. Never use an electric blanket that is wet or creased and never switch it on to dry it out.  Under no circumstances use an electric blanket folded; always spread it out fully.

Electric heaters can also be a major cause of fires during winter, and it has been documented that almost one-third of Australians admit that they do not check the safety of their heating appliances at the start of winter. After many months in storage it is vital to ensure any build-up of dust is removed before use, and cords and plug tops are checked for any visible signs of damage or fraying. Never leave electrical appliances such as heaters or clothes dryers running while your home is unattended!

Other examples of concern which are definitely worth a mention are unattended candles and open fireplaces without grates. Something even more alarming though that we are seeing too frequently on our callouts is household wiring that has been chewed by rodents which often seek warmth and shelter inside our homes and ceiling spaces! If you have any concerns at all, a professional electrical safety inspection is most certainly worth the outlay!

The few simple steps summarised below are certainly worth remembering and by following them you will be well on your way to safeguarding the welfare of your family and loved ones this winter:

  • Make sure you have an adequate number of working smoke alarms in your home.
  • Ensure your home is fitted with a safety switch and surge protection.
  • Consider a yearly maintenance check of your electric blankets and heaters, smoke alarms and reverse cycle air conditioning units.

For peace of mind and more winter electrical safety tips, contact Sparkies Plus on (07) 5408 4044 or Free Call 1800 061 724 for a comprehensive safety check of your home and appliances. We are expert electricians on the Sunshine Coast whose number one priority is safety.