December 14, 2018
In North Carolina, the winter months can certainly lead to greater use of electricity. From Christmas decorations to keeping your home warm and cozy, the need for electrical power is bound to spike throughout the season, and unfortunately, that also means a greater chance for problems to surface.
Nobody wants to deal with any home disasters over the holidays, so to ensure that your home is safe at all times, here are 3 common winter electrical problems to be aware of. With these issues in mind, you’ll be able to avoid any serious hazards, while enjoying everything the season has to offer.
1. Look Out for Old Devices
One of the biggest hazards during the winter are old devices and appliances that have the potential to malfunction or cause blowouts. Most of the time, space heaters, electric blankets, and Christmas lights have been sitting in storage for most of the year, which means that they are susceptible to being damaged from minimal use. In fact, it’s estimated that 26,000 house fires are caused every year by faulty electrical equipment, and space heaters are the main contributor. In addition, research done by the U.S. Fire Administration shows that 390 fires every year are caused by Christmas lights or other holiday lighting decorations.
Interestingly enough, North Carolina has seen an unusual amount of fire-related deaths in 2018 compared to previous years, and defective devices are partly to blame. The bottom line is that old devices can wreak havoc on your home if you’re not careful, so doing a thorough inspection of their integrity will make a world of difference.
2. Insufficient Power
Since you’re more likely to plug in extra appliances and crank up the thermostat in the wintertime, the result could be an over-extended circuit board that supplies insufficient power to the entirety of your home. An easy way to tell if your systems are taking on too much strain is if any lights start to flicker after being turned on or if the breaker is constantly being tripped. In any case, short-circuiting can lead to painful shocks and dangerous fires, and preventing weak power flows should be a top priority.
If insufficient power is a concern, then taking the time to inspect the consumption levels of older appliances can help. Dishwashers, dryers, and cooking appliances tend to take up a lot of energy, and newer models with better efficiency can instantly take care of any excessive fluctuations. However, if replacements don’t solve the problem, then it may be a good idea to consult with an electrician to discuss the idea of increasing the amperage of your home.
3. Home Fires or Electrical Surges
Lastly, another major concern when it comes to winter electrical problems is the potential for home fires or electrical surges. As mentioned before, older devices, Christmas lights, and insufficient power are all fire hazards, but there are several other instances that can be just as harmful. For example, relying on extension cords or power strips to carry the burden of extra appliances can cause overheating, sparks, or meltdowns. Not to mention, these devices don’t have circuit breakers to provide protection. Aside from external devices, even the placement of a Christmas tree next to a fireplace or space heater can quickly set on fire since plastic materials or dried branches are extremely vulnerable. Plus, dry air in a household is a great conductor of static electricity, which can increase the likelihood of electrical threats.
Needless to say, there are many risks to consider during the winter months, and the best thing you can do to keep yourself ahead of any trouble is to stay informed and stay prepared.
Stay Safe This Winter with CMC Electric
Keeping your home’s electrical systems updated and intact can definitely be a challenge, but CMC Electric is here to make the process easier than ever. With our experienced team of electricians, all you need is one consultation to make sure that everything is protected. Whether you plan to have a quiet season or you’re hosting the festivities for family and friends, CMC Electric will provide you with excellent service and peace of mind.
For more information about how you can maintain a safe home this season, feel free to contact us today and request a service!