During the cooler months, utility bills and fender benders are not the only things that spike across the GTA. Unfortunately, the number of electrical fires also increases, which keeps firefighters — as well as firms that provide residential, commercial and construction electrician services — very busy.
To help you keep your home, assets, and especially your family safe, here are five tips to help you prevent electrical fires this winter:
1. Get your HVAC equipment routinely serviced.
It is important to have your furnace or boiler routinely inspected and serviced to ensure that the electrical components are functioning properly, and that the system overall is properly cleaned.
2. Be caution with space heaters.
Many homes and some businesses — especially offices with notorious “cold spots” — use space heaters. If you are going to use a space heater, then ensure that you keep it away from all flammable materials and surfaces. Furthermore, you should power your space heater with a dedicated circuit. If this is required, remember that by law you must only choose a contractor that is licensed to provide residential and commercial electrical services.
3. Inspect generators each year prior to use.
Generators are invaluable for powering homes and businesses during outages — which can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, or even days as was the case during Toronto’s epic ice storm in 2013, or more recently in April 2018 when about 120,000 Hydro One customers lost power. If you are using a generator, then it is essential to have it inspected each year prior to use by a firm that is licensed to provide residential and commercial electrical services. Even old fuel can be a potential fire hazard.
4. Make sure all appliances use dedicated circuits.
All appliances — such as ovens, ranges, refrigerators and microwaves — should be plugged into dedicated circuits, which helps prevent the risk of overloads that can trigger electrical fires. In addition, all outlets in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry areas, and basements should be equipped with GFCIs, and tested regularly.
5. Never leave stoves unattended when cooking.
Last but not least: many electrical fires throughout the year (not just in winter) result from unattended stoves. And “unattended” does not just mean leaving the stove on while taking a quick trip to the grocery store or walking the dog. It also means taking a shower, shoveling show, or doing something else in another part of the house where the stove is not within view.
To learn more about preventing electrical fires this winter, contact Langstaff & Sloan today at 416.503.2033 and book your Whole Home Assessment. Discover why we are one of the most trusted and respected residential, commercial, and construction electrician firms in Ontario.