TSBC License # LEL0205347
OKV Electric
Okanagan Valey Electric Services

Vernon Winters Require Safeguards from Seasonal Electrical Hazards

November 29th 2021

At OKV Electric in Vernon, we know all about local winters because we grew up here. Owner/operator Erik Neuhaus is a local electrician with deep roots in the community. He recognizes that beautiful winters abound in the Vernon area and lots of snow makes for great skiing, but winter weather can also lead to electrical hazards that you need to be aware of so you can safeguard your home and family.

Here are six tips to safeguarding your home from seasonal electrical hazards:

    1. Be Wary of Overusing Extension Cords. With holiday lights strung from every corner and the latest electronics on everyone’s wish list, extension cords get plenty of use throughout the winter months. It’s important to remember that extension cords are not meant for constant use. They should not be overloaded and surge protectors should always be used when plugging in expensive electronics, both to protect the device and prevent electrical fires.

    2. Safe Use of Space Heaters. Winters in Vernon are long and many people make use of space heaters to rid their homes of winter chill.
a. It’s important to only use safety-certified space heaters and always read the instruction manual before plugging in.
b. Keep them at least three feet away from anything flammable, such as clothing, curtains, bedding, etc.
c. Never use them in rooms where children are not supervised. They can easily be burned or electrocuted if they stick their fingers or other objects into the heater.
d. Always unplug space heaters when not in use. Unplug directly from the plug, not from the cord.

    3. Check Batteries in your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors. In order to ensure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order if/when you need them, they need to be checked regularly – once a month is a good idea. It only takes a second and can save lives. The danger of carbon monoxide poisoning increases greatly in the winter when homes are most likely staying warm with gas furnaces and heaters. Staying safe means maintaining gas-burning home appliances yearly and making sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.

    4. Vacation Planning. Dreaming of a winter holiday or extended vacation? Before you go, make sure all non-essential electronic equipment is unplugged. With as few electrical items plugged in as possible, your home will be greatly safeguarded from unexpected electrical surges or fluctuations.

    5. Let a Registered Electrician Install Additional Outlets. If you want to have the brightest holiday lights on the street, you need to make sure you aren’t overloading your home’s electrical outlets to do so. An electrician can safely install additional outlets, so you can confidently light up your home this winter.

    6. Trim Your Trees. Snow around here can be heavy and drooping branches can be dangerous when they come in contact with overhead power lines. Trimming the trees in your yard before the snow flies will help you be prepared. If the worrisome trees are more than you can safely deal with, contact a Vernon utility company or arborist to provide assistance.

If you uncover questions or concerns while winterizing your home, give us a call at OKV Electric. We can answer all of your electrical questions and help you make the most of our beautiful Vernon winter.