Look Out For These Winter Electrical Hazards!

Look Out For These Winter Electrical Hazards!


 

Winter is the perfect time to unpack the electrical blankets, plug in the heater, and enjoy a cup of hot choco. However, the typical Aussie home uses more power during the colder months than the other three seasons. With the increased use of heaters and other appliances, winter can be more dangerous when it comes to electrical faults. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to take a few preventative measures to look out for these winter electrical hazards.

If you’re searching for the best licensed electrician in the Brisbane area and surrounds (Alderley, Ashgrove, Bardon, Enoggera, Paddington, The Gap), look no further than Allyn White Electrical.


Winter is a dangerous time, as increased use of heaters, electric blankets and lights lead to a rise in electrical faults. Heaters in dangerous positions and light bulbs that don’t match the wattage of their fittings are two major concerns at this time.

Electrical products that have been stored for a long time can have damaged wiring or be broken by having other large items stored on top of them. Heavy use of lamps can also cause the bulbs to overheat and start fires.

To protect themselves and their family, homeowners should ensure that products such as heaters and electric blankets are inspected for faults and not be used if the wiring is damaged.

Here are our top essential tips to avoid winter electrical hazards:

Check Your Smoke Alarms

The most simple tip of them all, but one we often see left ’til last!

About half of all fires in the home start in the kitchen and more than 4 in 10 of all deaths from fire happen during winter.

Make sure your smoke alarms are working properly. Check if the battery is up to date by pushing the button each week can be a literal lifesaver. Also, make sure alarms are clean and free from any dust or cobwebs as this can affect durability and effectiveness. Did you know your smoke alarm should be changed every 10 years? How long have you had yours?

Don't Push Your Electrical System Too Far

If you live in an older home that hasn't been renovated, try to cut down on the amount of power you use. Not only does this bring down your electricity bill, but it can also protect you against potential electrical damage!

When winter arrives, most of us head indoors. However, many older homes were built with the families of yesterday in mind. As a result, it manifests in the home's electrical systems. Simply put, the architects of the past didn't know we'd use so much power nowadays:

• Bigges, brighter TVs
• Various devices and charges
• Computers
• Brighter, more powerful lights

Needless to say, this puts you at a huge risk of winter electrical hazards.

Check Your Heater Before Use

Gas Heaters

Gas heaters produce heat when they burn gas fuel. A flued gas heater releases air pollutants and water vapour outside the home through a chimney or flue, while an unflued gas heater releases them directly into the home.

Electric Heaters

Electric heaters should be checked for obvious damage such as rusted reflectors (especially on older heaters). The power cord should also be checked for any damage. An electrician or service technician should do any repairs.
Don’t leave portable heaters in places where people or pets could knock them over.

Portable Outdoor Gas Heaters

Never use a gas heater designed or marketed for outdoor use inside your home.

Portable outdoor gas heaters can cause fires if they are incorrectly stored, not properly maintained and placed too close to overhead coverings, such as awnings, or to other flammable materials.

Store Your Electric Blankets Properly

Check your electric blanket is in good condition and hasn't been placed on a recall list by checking the Recalls Australia website. Faulty electric blankets can overheat, cause an electric shock, spark and potentially cause a fire.

You should always roll your blanket up to store it because folding it can damage element wires inside the blanket. When you take it out of storage and use it for the first time, lay it flat on the bed and check for hot spots as it heats up.

Check The Water And Electrical Safety

Ideally, outlets in kitchens and bathrooms should be installed a safe distance away from sinks and showers. If they’re not, you might want to use outlet plug covers to prevent accidental contact and electric shock.

Never handle hairdryers and other electrical appliances with wet hands. Remind children about thoroughly drying their hands before using appliances, and staying well away from sinks, baths, and taps when handling appliances.

Leave Space Around Appliances

Every appliance should have sufficient empty space around it so its internal cooling system can work effectively. This applies to items such as computers and TVs, as well as refrigerators and freezers. Check each appliance carefully, follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for empty space, and adjust their positions.

Clean Your Chimney

If you have a fireplace in your home, make sure the chimney is clean and not blocked. Always place a screen in front of a fireplace when it’s being used, and never burn rubbish such as plastics or foam, wood that is painted or treated with copper chrome arsenate (CCA) or creosote-treated timber (such as railway sleepers).

Make Sure Your Home is Pest-Proof

We all want to head indoors when the weather’s cold, and unfortunately, this can mean pests as rats will also want to seek shelter in your home! Rats chew through anything, including your wiring, which can pose some serious electrical dangers. Aside from practising basic pest control and prevention, lookout for any signs of chewing or damage to your wires.

Call a Licensed Electrician in Brisbane

Always have a licensed, experienced electrician like Allyn White to check your property’s wiring to see if there’s any damage. Electricians have special equipment enabling them to conduct accurate safety tests. They can assist with checking your safety switch or installing one for you if you don’t have one, or if your existing switch is faulty.

For a free quote by a licensed electrician call 0416 235 641 or simply complete the online enquiry form and we will call and arrange to quote your switchboard and electrical requirements. Our charge out rate remains the same during the week, weekends and after hours, so don't hesitate to contact us today!

sources: directory4u.com.au, platinumelectricians.com.au, briggselectrical.com.au, ehlerthelectrical.com.au, healthdirect.gov.au

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