Everybody loves fall (this statement is not supported by any formal research). The colors, the cooling temperature, the most awesome holiday ever – Halloween – What’s not to love? But fall does have a few things you should think about when it comes to electrical safety. We talked to Kendrick Electric to get a few fall safety tips you should know.
Check Your Detectors
First thing to do is check your Smoke and CO detectors. You should test them twice a year – in spring and fall. Safety laws that went into effect in 2013 now require all smoke detectors to have 10-year batteries, so you shouldn’t need to worry if your smoke detector is newer than that for a few years yet, but you don’t want to take a chance. And if you detectors are older than 2013, you should definitely be keeping a close eye on them. If your detectors are older than 10 years, you should consider replacing them, as they are only designed to last that long. There are new combination devices that detect both CO and smoke, so look for them at your local home improvement store.
Inspect Your Extension Cords
Like Christmas, people like to go overboard decorating for Halloween. Lights shaped like bats and ghosts, laughing skeletons, and more get hung around the house. You need to power them all. If you’re going to put up decorations, then be sure to check your extension cords before you do. Frayed cords are a serious fire hazard, so replace them if you find any problems. Don’t forget to follow other fire safety procedures with extension cords as well. Avoid doubling them up and do not put too many into the same socket.
While you’re inspecting extension cords, be sure to check up on your power tools, such as the leaf blowers you might be using to clean up your yard. And speaking of falling leaves . . .
Clean Up the Clutter
People love fall for the way the leaves change color, but don’t forget that they’re going to start dropping. Dry leaves can land near outdoor electrical outlets and other fixtures, becoming a fire hazard. It only takes a single spark to light them up, so make sure you clean them up quickly. If your kids want to jump in piles of leaves, makes sure you pile the leaves away from the house.
Check Your Outdoor Lighting
You’re going to have trick-or-treaters in October, so you want to make sure they can see where they’re going as they walk up to your house. Halloween has enough dangers on its own without adding the possibility of them tripping and falling on your property. Take some time to check all the lighting fixtures you have around your porch and driveway. If they’re out, replace the bulbs. If they flicker, find out why before the holiday starts.
Be Careful of Electrical Lines
The falling leaves won’t just clutter up your yard; they’ll also clog your gutters. You’ll definitely want to clean them out before the snowfall so that the water has some place to go when it melts in the spring. While you’re doing this, be sure to watch out for power lines that are near or connect to your house. If your shovel or broom gets tangled up in the wire, you might fall, or get potentially fatal electric shocks. Keep your eyes open to avoid a tragedy.
Check Your Wiring
Finally, be sure to do a good check up of your wiring before winter. If there are any wiring problems that could lead to shorts, you want to take care of them now. It will be much harder to correct these issues during the winter, not to mention that a power failure in your house during the colder months is really unpleasant to deal with. Inspect your wiring before the snowfall. It’ll be much easier and cheaper if you do.
Enjoy the Fall
These simple safety tips should keep you in good health this fall and ensure you have everything you need to get through the winter without any problems.
Take care, and have a pleasant fall!