6 Winter Electrical Hazards to Avoid

Electrical Safety: Preparation for Winter Storms

Winter Electrical Hazards That Homeowners Need to Be Aware Of

The long-anticipated holiday season came with a great celebration and many gatherings of family and friends. Now follows the darker, colder winter weather for a few months. The colder temperatures, north winds, cold rain, and potential for ice and snow keep us inside most of the time.

We approach going outside as an adventure that we need to prepare for and stay inside for comfort and warmth. We also participate in activities that increase the frequency of residential fires, so let’s discuss the top six Winter Electrical Hazards that can cause a house fire.

Winter Electrical Hazards #1: Cooking

During the summertime, we often eat sandwiches and salads and cook outdoors, but in the wintertime, we focus on hot comfort foods. But cooking is a leading cause of residential fires, so be alert. Don’t leave the oven or stove in use but unattended for long stretches.

Burning the food might result in more than setting off the smoke alarm. This becomes especially true when frying food or cooking food with high-fat content since high heat can cause it to combust without a flame.

Should a small cooking fire happen, try to cover the cooking vessel quickly to smother the flame. Any type of fire extinguisher can be used, but do not use water to put a cooking fire out: the oil/fat/grease will float on top of the water and spread. If a cooking fire is beyond your ability to extinguish, evacuate the home and call 911.

Winter Electrical Hazards #2: Frozen Pipe Flooding

In Southeast Texas, most of the residential plumbing is located in our attics. As the temperature plummets, it can cause pipes to freeze, and burst, and flooding can occur. As a result, submerged live electrical outlets and water-soaked wiring due to flooding can be a serious electrical hazard.

Winter Electrical Hazards #3: “COLD” Wiring

Extreme cold can have a dramatic effect on your electrical wiring. The cold weather can cause the coatings and in some cases the wire itself to become brittle.

Winter Electrical Hazards #4: Outdoor Outlets

Having an outdoor outlet is a great luxury to have with many different uses. However, when the cold weather and sometimes ice and snow can create moisture in or around these outlets, it can result in a short circuit or electrical shock.

Winter Electrical Hazards #5: Auxiliary Heat

Whether for ambiance or comfort during extremely cold snaps, people often use space heaters of many varieties. However, we are generally unaccustomed to having these units in use, so they take extra precautions. First, learn how to use a fireplace, wood furnace, or wood stove.

Establish a process and follow the process each time. Keep screens closed to prevent embers from popping out. Get the chimney swept as often as required. Know when and how to extinguish a fire safely to protect both life and property.

The heating element for electric space heaters will glow red and reach temperatures that range between 800 and 15000 C, and while it is not an open flame, it is hot enough to ignite fires for most walls, flooring, furnishing, and accessories. Place electric space heaters at least 3 feet from other objects and place them away from high-traffic areas, such as hallways.

They can be fire and burn hazards around children and pets, so stay alert. Turn them off before exiting the building or going to sleep. Space heaters that produce heat from combustion MUST BE VENTILATED to avoid asphyxiation threats. This is one of the Winter Electrical Hazards that cause the most electrical fires during the winter months.

Winter Electrical Hazards #6: Faulty Wiring

Evidence of wiring trouble will manifest itself year-round, but it may become visible when occupants spend more time indoors. Pay attention when fuses blow or circuit breakers trip frequently and unexpectedly.

When family members experience arcing (sparking) when flipping a switch or plugging in a device, or when the face plates are discolored from past arcing, this problem needs to be addressed. Sometimes arcing might take the form of winking lights or wavering electrical function for devices. Do not ignore when a cord or device is extremely hot.

Extreme cold can have a dramatic effect on your electrical wiring. The cold weather can cause the coatings and in some cases the wire itself to become brittle.

Have Winter Electrical Hazards that need to be inspected? We can help!

With our four decades of experience as a Residential Electrician Contractor, AirPro Houston provides you with the skill and expertise to help answer your Winter Electrical Hazards questions.

We have financing options available with great options with up to 72-month terms with approved credit. Call our teams of Electricians at  281-880-8805 and let us partner with you for all of your electrical repair, Home Generator installation, and electrical installation needs.


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