Fall Electrical Safety Tips for Your Home

The weather is starting to get cooler, and as summer rolls into fall, we thought we’d remind everyone of ways they can keep their homes safe from fires with these fall electrical safety tips.

  • Check your smoke detector. You should test your smoke detectors twice a year—once in the spring, once in the fall. In addition, remember that smoke detectors are designed to last 10 years. If yours is older than that, it’s highly recommended that you install a new one. New smoke detector laws that went into effect earlier this year require all new smoke detectors to have 10-year batteries, so you don’t have to worry about replacing the batteries along the way.
  • Protect your outdoor electrical systems. Any outdoor electrical outlets should be GFCI outlets and covered by a “bubble cover” to keep the elements out. If your electrical service cable is exposed, make sure it’s not damaged. During the holidays, don’t hang any decorations on or near the cable.
  • Be careful with space heaters. Space heaters are convenient, but can be a major fire hazard if you’re not careful with them. Make sure there is nothing flammable within three feet of the space heater, and never plug it into an extension cord.
  • Be safe with your ladders and tools. Before using ladders outside to clean gutters, hang lights or replace bulbs, be sure to locate all low hanging electrical and telephone wires and lines. Hitting these lines with a ladder can be dangerous and pose a safety risk to any person who is around when the ladder touches the wires. Before using any tool for the winter, such as an electric leaf blower, inspect the power cord for wear spots or burn marks.
  • Inspect or change outdoor lighting. As the season changes and the clocks begin to shift, daylight will be shortened. The beginning of fall is the time to check outdoor lighting, and light fixtures. Check any outdoor lighting areas to make sure the bulbs are ready for use as well as if they need replaced. Another one of the fall electrical safety tips could be to save money during the fall, so consider switching to more energy efficient outdoor lighting.

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