Residential Electricians Advice
With the onset of winter it is an alarming fact that the incidence of fires in our homes increases. Some fires are caused by defects in appliances as well as old household wiring, improper use of extension cords or overloaded circuits. If a few simple precautions are taken with the seasonal electrical appliances we use, so many of these fires could be prevented. Electric blankets and room heaters are both appliances that are stored away for most of the year and are only brought out during the cooler months.
There is nothing like the cosy warmth of an electric blanket in the winter but there are a few things to be aware of to ensure they remain safe to use.
Before the first use in winter carefully run your hands over the unfolded blanket to check for anything sharp (e.g. a wire that may have broken during storage).
Check the plug and cord for any visible signs of wear or damage and never use an electric blanket with scorch marks or exposed wires.To confirm your electric blanket is safe to use have it checked by a licensed electrical contractor. The dangers are too high to risk the safety of your family!
If an electric blanket is older than 10 years consider throwing it away and buying a new one.
Never use an electric blanket if it is wet or creased and do not switch it on to dry it out.
Never use an electric blanket folded; always spread it out fully.
Always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, and follow them.
Electric heaters are also the cause of many fires during winter, and it has been documented that almost one-third of Australians say they do not check the safety of their heating appliances at the beginning of winter. After many months in storage it is important to ensure any build-up of dust is removed before use. Once again, cords and plug tops need to be checked for damage or fraying. It is also concerning that many Australians choose to leave electrical appliances running while the home is unattended!
By following the few simple steps outlined below you will be well on the way to ensure the safety of your family and loved ones this winter:
Ensure you have an adequate number of suitable smoke alarms in your home.
Ensure your home is fitted with a safety switch and surge protection.
Consider a yearly maintenance check on your electric blankets and heaters, smoke alarms and reverse cycle air conditioning units. For peace of mind, contact our Electricians for a comprehensive safety check of your home and appliances. They are accredited Master Electricians whose number one priority is safety.