As the cold weather settles in and we begin to spend more time indoors, this is a good time to be aware of the electrical hazards around the home during the heating season. The Electrical Safety Foundation International offers the following tips.
1. Safely store warm weather tools like lawn mowers and trimmers. Check cold weather tools, such as leaf and snow blowers, along with their power cords, for unusual wear and tear.
2. Repair or replace worn tools or parts right away.
3. Unplug and safely store battery chargers that won't be in use again until spring.
4. Use only weatherproof electrical devices for outside activities.
5.Protect outdoor electrical devices from moisture. Make sure electrical equipment that has been wet is inspected and reconditioned by a certified repair dealer.
6. Keep dry leaves swept away from outdoor lighting, outlets and power cords.
7. Make sure electric blankets are in good repair and certified by an independent testing lab such as UL, CSA or ETL. Power cords should not be frayed, cracked or cut.
8. Do not tuck your electric blanket under mattresses or children, and do not put anything, such as comforters or bedspreads, on top of the blanket while it is in use. Never allow pets to sleep on an electric blanket.