Fall Electrical Safety Tips: Time To Break Out The Leaf Blower
Fall has finally begun here in the southeastern part of Pennsylvania. If you live in Montgomery County, or any other county in Southeastern, Pa, you know very well how hot, humid, and wet this summer has been. Almost all of us are rejoicing (well, not today, as it is raining again), as the cool breeze of autumn is hitting our area, and as the fall leaves are dropping from the trees. Although those fall leaves are pretty to watch as they spiral down and hit the ground, it also means that it’s time to break out the fall electrical safety tips.
Fall Electrical Safety Tips
As electricians, we want you and your family safe as we begin to hunker down in our homes until spring. As we spend more time in our homes, it means more use of our electricity and our electrical devices, along with our heating sources.
We also need to be careful with our outdoor elements to our home, especially when those leaves start falling. In other words, it’s time to break out the leaf blower to begin our fall electrical safety tips.
Fall Leaf Cleanup
It might sound silly, but really taking care of your property with the leaves is a must. Whether raking or using a leaf blower, it’s important to ensure all leaves are out of sight and away from your outdoor electrical outlets, power cords, lighting, and air conditioner unit. Dry leaves can be a potential fire hazard around these items.
Inspect All Outdoor Equipment and Wiring
It’s a great time now to check for any damage to your outdoor electrical equipment such as hot tubs and pool systems before the winter weather hits. Other things on this list to check are outdoor lighting fixtures and wiring for damage.
Inspect All Indoor Electrical Items (outlets, cords, appliances, etc.)
Since we are going to be in the house and using more electrical equipment until the spring time hits, it’s always a good idea to check indoor electrical items too. Wall outlets should be inspected for any looseness, discoloration, and made sure GFCI outlets are in places where necessary. All power cords with any damage should be trashed and replaced, as well as any electrical appliances.
Inspect All Fall/Winter Electrical Tools and Equipment
Before breaking out any power tool or equipment for a first time use since last fall/winter, check to ensure the cords aren’t damaged in any way. Repair or replace anything that is damaged before use.
Store Spring/Summer Electrical Equipment Properly
It’s time to put the lawn mower away soon after the last season’s cut. As with anything else, store this and any other spring/summer electrical tools/equipment in a safe, dry place away from anything that can damage it. When putting these items away that have any cords, be sure to properly stow the cords away so they don’t get any wear and tear on them.
Get Your Heating System Inspected
Call a licensed professional to inspect your heating system before firing it up. The really really cold weather will be here soon, and you don’t want to have to pay for emergency service fees in the middle of the night because it stopped working! Not just that, but it’s a wise decision to make sure nothing is damaged or faulty on the system while it is running.
Be Safe When Using Outdoor Electrical Equipment
Always make sure that you have the correct weather proof outdoor electrical outlets when using any outdoor equipment. Your outdoor electrical outlets should be of the GFCI type and covered with a weather proof bubble cover for rain and snow protection. Ensure all of your outdoor equipment you are using is also rated for the outdoors (weatherproof).
Be Safe When Using Electric Blankets
Electric blankets are a hot commodity in the fall and winter seasons. Please please please make sure you are using them properly to prevent an electrical fire. All electrical blankets should be inspected for any damaged cords (dark, charred, or frayed spots on the blanket where the cord is). Never place anything on top of an electric blanket when it is in use. Never fold or tuck an electric blanket when it is in use.
Be Safe When Using Space Heaters
Your space heater should be inspected for any cracks or broken plugs before using. The cord should not be frayed either. Never leave a space heater on when no one is home. Space heaters should also be placed 3 feet away from anything and everything when turned on, especially combustible materials like clothing, blankets, paper etc. Space heaters should NOT be plugged into extension cords. Nothing else should be plugged into the wall outlet with the space heater either.
Check Your Smoke/CO Detectors
Smoke and CO detectors should be tested at least once a month. We know that many people don’t do this, so testing and inspecting them now during a new season is a good idea. This is the perfect time to make sure all of your smoke alarms and CO alarms in your home are working properly. Use the test button on the smoke detectors to see if they are functioning correctly. A normal life span of a smoke detector is 10 years. If you’ve had them longer than this, replace them.