It’s hard to believe that we should be preparing our homes for colder temperatures. We’ll understand if you would rather bookmark this post for later and soak up a little more of summer. But don’t ignore fall electrical maintenance for too long. It’s a great time of year to care for your home before the busy holiday season and bitter cold sets in.
Check safety alarms
An easy to remember guideline is to check your safety alarms with daylight savings time. Put that extra hour to good use! Modern smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors have a “test” button to make this easy. If your detectors are missing this feature, it is probably time for an upgrade. Even if they are working, you should not keep smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors longer than ten years.
Check outdoor tools
Check your outdoor tools for basic electrical maintenance. Turn off, or remove any batteries from, tools you will not be using for the winter such as lawn mowers or weed trimmers. Check the batteries and cords on your cold-weather tools such as leaf blowers.
Bonus tip: Leaf blowers are a handy tool year-round. Use them to tidy grass clippings from sidewalks and driveways, and clear cars and sidewalks from a light dusting of snow.
Remove dry leaves
Speaking of dry leaves, they catch fire easily and burn quickly! Keep them away from any electrical outlets or appliances.
Use caution with space heaters and electric blankets
Take extra care with accessory heating like electrical blankets or space heaters. Electrical blankets should be a top layer only. This means never placing them under people, animals, or additional blankets. Keep your space heaters at least three feet away from any flammable objects and do not use them unattended. Neither of these items should be used with extension cords. Check their labels to be sure they have been properly inspected by an independent lab, such as Underwriters Laboratories.
Check lighting fixtures and battery powered backups
You might notice the days slowly growing shorter, so your indoor lighting will get more use. Now is a good time to survey the lighting around your home. Search for any broken or burned out bulbs and get them replaced. Check that the bulb is appropriate wattage for the fixture. Don’t hide your tornado emergency supplies too far away. Your flashlight will come in handy in an ice storm power outage event. Check that your weather radio and flashlight have working batteries.
As always, contact us with any electrical questions. We’ll keep your home well maintained or share ideas for a cozy lighting upgrade.