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When too much current passes through the wires in your home an electrical overload can occur and cause your home’s power to shut off unexpectedly. In some situations an electrical overload may even cause wires to heat up to the point that they melt or start a fire. The chances of this occurring usually increase in the colder darker months of the year when homeowners are using additional light and heat sources. Make sure you avoid the following risk factors for an electrical overload this winter and keep your home and family safe.
Go Easy on the Holiday Lights
Putting up lots of Christmas lights may make your home feel more festive but it can also be dangerous if you overdo it. Your home’s electrical system may not be able to accommodate the additional current running from these lights especially if many of them are plugged in on the same circuit. To prevent an electrical overload, try to utilize a less-used circuit in your home when plugging in holiday lights. Turn off other power sources connected to the same circuit when possible. In addition, replace older strands of Christmas lights with newer energy-efficient holiday lights featuring LED bulbs.
Be Careful When Using Space Heaters
Space heaters can help to reduce your home’s heating bill in the winter. Many people like to use them to keep a small area warm while setting the thermostat lower for the rest of the house, however, space heaters can have a high electrical load and potentially cause an outage in your home. As with your holiday lights you should try to utilize a less-used circuit in your home for your space heater and turn off other power sources on that circuit. In addition, space heaters should be plugged directly into the wall outlet rather than using an extension cord or power strip. In fact the space heater should be the only thing connected to that outlet in order to reduce the risk of electrical overload.
Don’t Plug in Too Many Appliances
The holidays are a popular time to gather with friends and family to celebrate. If you’re hosting a special event this winter be careful about plugging in too many appliances. The kitchen can quickly become overloaded electrically if you’re using toaster ovens, slow cookers, blenders, toasters, pressure cookers and other appliances all at once. The same goes for holiday party prep when your family might be using vacuum cleaners, hair dryers and other items throughout the home just before your guests arrive. Protect your home from electrical overload during these events by spacing out the use of appliances on different circuits at different times. You should never use multi-outlet converters, power strips or extension cords to run appliances in your home. If you need to use lots of items in the kitchen plan out the meal well in advance so you aren’t using too many appliances at once.
Use these tips to avoid an electrical overload in your home this winter. If you are having frequent issues with outages, have your home’s electrical wiring inspected to see if it needs to be repaired or upgraded.