How to Avoid Electrical Fires This Winter

Posted on: January 24, 2018

We’ve well-passed the seasonal risks associated with holiday trees and crazy amounts of kitchen appliance use. But don’t think we’re out of the woods yet when it comes to potential electrical fires! The winter season still presents a fair array of risks, so it’s best to be as prepared as possible as we move into the middle of the season.

Need some help beefing up your electrical safety, or want to know the leading electrical fire risks to be found during the cold months here in Tampa and Clearwater? Hoffman Electrical is here to clue you in!

The Biggest Risks Lie in Home Heating

Pulled right from the NFPA: “heating equipment was involved in an estimated 54,030 reported U.S. home structure fires.” That was through the years of 2011-2015. The statistic is both huge and telling, and as you might expect you should be very wary of your HVAC and alternative heat sources.

To prevent HVAC equipment risks be sure your furnace, boiler, or whatever heating system is serviced routinely. Many fires that begin in an HVAC system occur because it hasn’t been cleaned and the electrical components haven’t been checked in a while. We know shelling out for a tune-up service isn’t fun, but it’s miles better than a Tampa electrical fire.

Avoid space heater risks by setting the space heater away from any flammable surfaces or materials. Additionally be sure to power the space heater with appropriate outlet support (a dedicated circuit, ideally) and never leave a space heater unattended. Those things eat up tons of wattage—many of them run hotter than your oven!

If You’re Using a Generator, Use it Right

For many of us, a whole-home generator is all that stands between us and a days-long power outage during the winter months. It doesn’t usually get as frigid around here as other places, but when we get it, we get it heavy! Generators are an awesome way to keep power, but they come with their own risks; namely, they’re at risk of sparking a flame if they’re under-maintained or the fuel in the generator is old. If your generator has been sitting idle for half a year, get it inspected before you try to use it!

Be Careful When Cooking

There’s nothing like hot food after being out in a blustery winter day. But before you get to cooking, be sure your kitchen is equipped safely! GFCIs should be in use in all kitchen spaces within a certain range of water sources, and additionally, ranges, ovens, microwaves, and refrigerators should be on dedicated circuits to avoid overloads that can lead to an electrical fire. Outside of electrical issues, be sure to stay in the kitchen when cooking. A sizable portion of kitchen fires reported were found to be due to appliances being left alone.

Electrical Safety & Power Solutions with Hoffman Electrical

Need some help getting your home winter ready and fire-safe? Our certified electricians are on standby and ready to assist! We can help with any of your needs, from electrical installations to installing dedicated circuits. And we charge by the job, not by the hour! Give us a call today or contact us online to find out more.