Most homes are busy in the fall when summer projects end and winter preparations begin. You can ask your local electrician to complete small, quick projects in the fall, such as upgrading outdoor lighting. This will make your yard safer at night. You can also take proactive steps to ensure your home’s electrical safety is up to snuff before winter truly arrives. Check out our recommended actions to ensure you’re taking the right steps toward making your home ready for winter.
While in Myrtle Beach, SC, the average winter temperature is almost 60 F and cool in comparison to the northwest, winter can be a challenging time in some homes. Your home can still lose power unexpectedly, and it can be dangerous without heat if the power goes out for an extended period of time. You can avoid power outages by utilizing a plan B power source, such as a standby generator. Alternatively, an electrician can install a generator transfer switch that gives you the option of utilizing a portable generator.
Check Outdoor Outlet Condition
To make sure your holiday lights, leaf blowers and other electrical items commonly used in fall and winter can be used outside safely, you should test your electrical outlets. These will need to be repaired or replaced before it gets cold, so make sure you do this as soon as possible!
Check Your Smoke Detector
First, make sure to check every smoke detector in your house. You’re likely using more electric devices to heat your home and keep you warm as the weather cools down. Your smoke detectors must be working in order to alert you if there is a fire in your home caused by overloaded circuits or overheating devices. Call an electrician if you find that they are not working correctly.
Check That Space Heaters Are Set Up Safely
You can heat up outdoor spaces or rooms quickly and efficiently with space heaters. To ensure safe operation, make sure there is sufficient clearance around the heater and that there is nothing flammable nearby. Make sure you plug your heater into an outlet, not an extension cord.
Use the Right Extension Cords
The holidays and cooler weather call for lots of lights and decorations. Most of these decorations must be plugged in, unless you opt for solar yard lights. To protect outdoor lighting from the elements, use surge protectors and weatherproof extension cables. Call an electrician if you need surge protection in Myrtle Beach, SC. To ensure everything works properly, make sure you check your extension cords for damage before plugging them into outlets.
Sweep Leaves Away
As we enter fall, leaves will undoubtedly end up in your yard. You should keep those leaves away from outdoor outlets, power cords and lighting. Dry leaves can catch fire easily if they are not removed. Keep your outdoor air conditioner units clean and free from dirt, leaves, and other debris. You won’t have any problems later if you keep your outdoor units in good condition by performing regular sweeps.
Use Electric Blankets Safely
What is the best way to keep warm while watching holiday movies on your couch, and still be comfortable? An electric blanket! However, they aren’t without risk, and investing in one with an automatic shutoff is a great idea.
Fall is an important time to consider electric safety. A professional electrician can help you to prepare for cooler weather by completing fall inspections and completing any necessary electrical safety work.
Properly Retire Summer Electrical Items
This includes properly retiring electrical devices for next year and making sure winter appliances are in top condition. These safety tips are from the Electrical Safety Foundation are some best practices for electrical tool safety:
- Warm weather tools such as lawnmowers or trimmers should be sheltered safely
- Check cold weather tools like leaf and snow blowers and their power cords for damage
- Remove and store any batteries and chargers not in use until spring
- Only use weatherproof electric devices outdoors
- Keep dry leaves swept away from outlets, power cords, and lighting
- Ensure that tools are not damaged, cracked, or otherwise compromised
- Damaged electrical outlets or appliances should be inspected and repaired by a qualified electrician.
Complete a Fall Inspection
Fall inspections contain a myriad of tasks designed to ensure home electrical safety. An electrical inspection will include visually inspecting any outdoor overhead connections, make sure they are tight, and confirm that cables don’t exhibit any safety issues. A licensed electrician will be qualified to make any necessary repairs.
Other areas of the fall inspection include examining exterior vents of electrical appliances, such as your HVAC unit, and inspecting exterior lights to check wiring, replace burned out bulbs, and confirm safety. If necessary, light timers can be reset to accommodate daylight hour changes.
An inspection will also confirm if appropriate code-required weatherproof covers are installed on all outdoor receptacles. These covers protect sensitive electronics from water damage, even when it’s in use.
Sump, water and septic pump connections should be working correctly. It is a good idea to have a backup battery for your pump in case of power outages.
It is important that your electrical panel remains clean and dry. You can trust an electrician from Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach to perform an Electrical Panel Safety Check to confirm if rust, corrosion or other issues may pose a danger to your electric supply.
It’s also crucial to make sure your generator is in top working order so it can be ready for when the power goes out.
One last thing to consider as part of fall maintenance is stocking up on replacement bulbs. Bulb changes are more frequent in autumn and winter as lighting is used more often. Also, assess the current condition of existing lights and check if they’re showing signs of failure. Always apply the correct wattage bulbs to your fixtures and appliances to prevent potential electrical issues. For a comprehensive assessment of your current indoor and outdoor electrical safety standards, speak to Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach, an electrician in Myrtle Beach, SC, ASAP.