Electrical Tips for Wintertime in West Michigan

Cooler weather is coming, and it is coming to West Michigan fast! In our previous blogs we took the time to cover preparing your HVAC system and Plumbing system for the change in season, so this week we are talking all things electrical! The type of electrical hazards you may be likely to encounter changes with the seasons. While the cooler weather continues to herd us indoors, checking on your electrical devices are essential to safety this winter. 

Common Electrical Devices 

More home fires occur during the winter months than during any other part of the year. Heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States. That is a pretty startling statistic to hear as we approach the cold season in Grand Rapids, but rest assured, there are preventative measures we can take to reduce our chances of this happening in our home. Take a look at the list below to learn more about common electrical devices found in homes today and the steps you can take to ensure electrical safety at home!

Heated Blankets

Ahhh, nothing beats hopping into an already heated bed on a cold winter night! Although we love heated blankets as much as the rest of West Michigan, there are a couple of safety precautions to take when pulling yours out of storage for the winter. After taking your heated blanket out of storage, check it to see if you notice any charred or discolored areas on the blanket. Don’t forget to check for fraying on the cord as well! Another point to consider is the age of your heated blanket. The ESFI reports that most issues occur when they are over ten years old. As a reminder, never leave your heated blanket plugged in and unattended! Happy heating! 

Space Heaters 

Portable space heaters are a common source of supplemental heat in homes in Michigan. Although they offer convenience, they also offer potential safety hazards at home. After your heated blanket passes inspection, it’s time for your space heater! Similarly, check the cords and the exterior of the space heater for any signs of burning or frayed cords. If your heater is good to go, great! But remember, never leave your space heater unattended and on. Your heater can run the risk of overheating and lead to serious damage and safety concerns. To avoid shorting a circuit, plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire.

Appliances

When was the last time you had your electrical system checked? If it’s been a while, it might be a good idea to schedule one before the seasons here for real. Ensuring that your electrical system and panel are up to date for the appliances and needs of your home is an important step to practicing electrical safety. An outdated electrical system can cause short circuits in your system and if you find yourself using more power strips in place of outlets, you might need some updates! A general rule of thumb is larger appliances should be plugged into their own outlet and not a power strip. 

Schedule a Whole Home Electrical Evaluation with Service Professor!

When it comes to keeping you, your family, and your home safe, you can count on your local Service Professor electricians to help out! Since 1978, we have been offering quality electrical services for homeowners who want to know that their electrical needs are in good hands. While many repairs and upgrades can be planned ahead of time, electrical emergencies happen anytime night or day. Give us a call. We’re Service Professor, and we’re here when you need us.

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