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Electrical Safety Tips for the Winter

During the winter, there are unfortunately more hazards to look out for than icy roads and freezing temperatures. With your home’s electrical, the winter brings more challenges. Look out for these three home essentials this year to ensure your home is as safe as possible.

Check your carbon monoxide detectors

With more use of common fuels like natural gas, wood, or coal, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases. Installing a carbon monoxide detector, replacing the old one you have, or even just changing out the batteries can do a lot for your safety and your peace of mind. 

Use space heaters safely

Space heaters are common appliances for many homeowners in the winter, but it’s important to be extremely careful with their usage in your home. These heaters can cause electrical fires if left alone to overheat. To use your space heater as safely as possible, keep them at least four feet away from furniture, curtains, or clothes, and never plug them in using extension cords or leave them turned on when you’re sleeping or leaving the room.

Be cautious with your heated blankets

We get it, these cozy heated blankets are super tempting to keep you warm. But these, like space heaters, can be dangerous if used unsafely. Check your blanket for any worn or damaged areas. If there are any signs of wear and tear, most likely from the heating element, you should get rid of that blanket, it’s time for a replacement. Also, although it may seem counterintuitive, never use your blanket while you’re asleep. An electrical fire caused by your heated blanket is not something you want to wake up to. 


5 Home Electrical Warning Signs to Watch For

5 Home Electrical Warning Signs to Watch For

At Coffin Electric we strive for safety to give our customers peace of mind. By keeping homeowners aware of warning signs, we can catch problems before they become dangerous. Look out for these 5 signs in your home, and if you need help with any of them, Coffin Electric is here for you. 

  • Old wiring

In the late 60s and early 70s, many homes used aluminum wiring. Unfortunately, buildings with wiring of this kind have been found to be 50 times more likely to experience fire damage. Now, we use copper wiring, as it is more resistant to heat. If your home was made during this era, or if you’re uncertain about the type of wiring, it’s best to double check with a home inspection.

  • Flickering lights

No, your house (probably) isn’t haunted. Unless the weather has been windy or stormy, your home’s electrical wiring may be outdated and unable to handle the increased energy demands of your home. 

  • Frayed wiring

Frayed wiring is an extremely dangerous fire and shock hazard. Whether due to remodeling allowing access to the wiring in question, or just a damaged wire on an everyday appliance, never ignore frayed or damaged wiring.

  • Frequent circuit breaker trips

While it’s not uncommon for a circuit breaker to trip, if it’s happening too frequently, it could be cause for concern. Normal trips are often caused by running multiple appliances from the same circuit, causing an overload. On the other hand, if you have to head to your circuit breaker panel more often than not, there could be a dangerous problem with your wiring or electrical panel. These panels last 25-40 years, but outdated panels won’t be able to keep up with the electrical needs of today’s homes. If you’re installing new appliances, like a larger refrigerator or hot tub, upgrading your panel might be a good idea.

  • Unusual outlet signs

Your outlets are an easy thing to keep an eye on, as they provide some tell tale warning signs for problems. If your outlets are emitting a buzzing or sizzling sound, it could be a sign of a potential wiring problem. If you smell smoke in your home and you’re not actively burning dinner, check your outlets. If the smell is stronger or you see scorch marks near your outlet, you’ll want to take immediate action. If any of your outlets have warmth or a vibration feeling coming from them, damaged wiring is probably at fault. An outlet that’s working correctly will be cool to the touch and definitely won’t be moving or vibrating. This problem is not one you can hold off on fixing, as it could lead to a house fire. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, unplug your appliances and call us as soon as you can. Our background checked, drug-tested, and professionally trained team is ready to help! 


6 Home Electrical Tips You Need to Know

6 Home ElCoffin Electric Tips You Need to Know

6 Home Electrical Tips You Need to Know

     1. Electricity and Water Don’t Mix

We know this is common knowledge for most, but a reminder never hurts. In our day to day, it’s easy to get caught up in routine like drying your hair with a hair dryer after a shower while standing on a wet floor or using wet hands. Even little instances like this cause a risk to your safety, so remember to keep your surroundings dry when handling electrical outlets or appliances. 

      2. Keep Children in the Loop

It’s important to help any children in your home understand how to be careful around electricity. Simple things like keeping water away from electricity and the dangers of exposed electrical cables are crucial to start teaching them from a young age, as well as things to know in the event of less frequent occurrences like storms that cause damage to electrical lines. Let them know to stay away from electrical wiring that has been downed during a storm.

      3. Practice Cord Safety

With so many electrical appliances in our homes today, there are also many opportunities for danger. Watching out for frayed or broken cords and replacing them when need be, giving cords enough space from anything flammable in case of sparks, not overusing or overloading extension cords, and plugging appliances into the correct outlets are all important habits to keep up with. Broken cords present a risk for electrocution, cords underneath rugs can increase risk of fire, and plugging appliances like portable heaters or air conditioners into extension cords won’t provide enough energy to your appliance. 

      4. Don’t Overload Sockets

If you can, it’s better to distribute your electrical load for appliances between multiple electrical outlets, rather than plugging many into one. Properly distributing your appliances and unplugging them when you’re not using them will decrease the risk of overloading circuits. 

      5. Test GFCIs

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters help protect people from electrical shock and electrocution. These GCFIs are self testing, meaning all you need to do to test your outlet is press the test button on your outlet, which should make a snapping sound. That means the receptacle has tripped. If it doesn’t trip, you should contact a certified electrician like Coffin Electric to check things over. 

      6. Match Bulb Wattages

Before putting a lightbulb in an appliance, you should check to see if it’s the right wattage. Lightbulbs that are rated below appliance output can get too hot and could spark a fire.