The Christmas season marks the beginning of wintertime in Arkansas, and homeowners all over the state have been busy getting things bright and beautiful for the holidays ahead. But while you’re out and about getting ready to deck the halls, don’t forget about a very important part of home maintenance for the winter months – electrical safety.

All of those decorations with their lights, cords, and other electrical components appear seemingly harmless, but they can actually pose a potentially dangerous situation if they aren’t properly checked before use. Additionally, those electric blankets, space heaters, and other wintertime appliances that have been dormant for many months can become hazardous without a few proper safety checks. Take a few moments to review our home electrical safety list, courtesy of Staley Electric!

  • Keeping warm with electric blankets this winter? Make sure to look them over for signs of fraying or damage, especially if they’ve been in storage. Never allow pets to use electric blankets, as they could chew the wires.
  • Do not allow children to play around space heaters, open flames, fireplaces, or anything else that could result in fire or injury. Speaking of open flames, always extinguish candles before going to bed.
  • Are your home’s outlet covers damage-free and in place? Check to make sure that they are not uncovered, cracked, or improperly fixed in place – especially if they’re in use. If an outlet is in an area with particularly high moisture and has not been upgraded to a GFCI, you’ll want to give us a call for outlet repair or replacement.
  • When is the last time you had your home’s electrical panel checked? If it’s been a while (or if you can’t recall), you need a professional to look at it. You may have plugs, switches, or fuses that need to be replaced before the winter months.
  • Is any component of your home’s electrical system exposed to water, such as rain or potential snow melt? This is an extremely serious situation. You may need to take steps to waterproof the area. An electrician can help you make this determination. Remember – water and electricity do not play well together.
  • Always turn off any space heaters or personal heating devices as soon as you are finished using them. Unless they come with an automatic shutoff function, there is a risk of overheating and, ultimately, fire. If you are using a space heater, make sure it’s at least a meter away from any other object.
  • Don’t overload outlets with too many strands of Christmas lights or appliances. As a general rule, a standard outlet can tolerate 25 strands of connected LED lights. It can be tempting to use cords on top of cords, but it’s dangerous to do so.
  • Test your fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and make sure they have fresh batteries. More home fires and carbon monoxide deaths occur during the winter months than any other time of the year. Make sure that your family has an emergency plan for these life threatening situations.
  • Leaving for vacation or for the holidays? Unplug any appliances or devices that aren’t in use before you leave. They continue to consume electricity even when not in use.
  • Do you have tree limbs in the way of the power lines outside your home? You’ll want to contact your utility company as soon as possible to have them cut back. In the event of heavy ice or snow, they can break and fall on the lines – resulting in a very dangerous situation.

If you’re in need of electric repair this winter, contact Staley Electric today! Our professional electricians serve Central and Northwest Arkansas. Whether you need an electrical upgrade, whole home generator, or any other need, our residential electric company is glad to serve. Learn more about us by clicking HERE!