The change of seasons in the Midwest is always a welcome transition as the high humidity of August gives way to the cool nights and dewey mornings of autumn.
This change of the seasons also brings about a time to reassess our energy usage and make some changes of our own around our homes, farms and businesses.
Our team at McAllister Electrical Services compiled this list of 7 safety tips to make sure this fall is both cozy and compliant around your home and business.
Tip 1: Test your smoke alarms
Because you’ll be using more of your electrical devices and appliances as the weather gets colder, make sure all of your smoke alarms have fresh batteries and are in working order. This ensures that if a fire breaks out, you and your household members can get out safely. Side note: when testing, be sure anyone present in the home or building is made aware that this is only a test…speaking from experience!
Tip 2: Change out your outdoor tools
Soon the snow will fly, and it will be time to store those lawn mowers and weed eaters for the winter. Be sure to store these summer tools in a safe place and check that any batteries are turned off. When rotating your cold-weather tools into useage, such as leaf blowers and snow blowers, be sure to check their power cords for wear and tear, and replace any parts that seem worn out or in disrepair.
Tip 3: Use only weatherproof electrical devices for outside activities
Protect your outdoor electrical equipment and devices from moisture. Purchase a grill blanket for those pellet grills and smokers, unplug any water features requiring power, and run any electrical equipment that may have been compromised to a repair shop.
Tip 4: Keep dry leaves swept away from outdoor lighting, outlets, and power cords.
Dry leaves are a fire hazard, and as such should be treated with caution. Keep these signs of the season in your compost pile or bagged up and taken to your outdoor trash facility.
Tip 5: Electric blankets safety.
These chilly nights ahead mean it’s time to get cozy with your favorite blanket, but if that blanket is electric, you need to do some maintenance first. Check electric blankets for UL, CSA, or ETL labels to ensure they’ve been tested by an independent lab. Ensure that they are in good repair and don’t have frays, cracks, or cuts. Never tuck electric blankets under mattesses or children, and do not place anything on top of these blankets when in use. Also, pets should never sleep on electric blankets.
Tip 6: Space heater safety.
Space heaters can heat small rooms quickly without needing to fire up your entire home heating system, but they can be a safety hazard when used incorrectly. Always be sure there isn’t anything flammable within three feet of your space heater, and never plug these appliances into an extension cord.
Tip 7: Check your light bulbs.
In the fall months, the days get shorter and the nights lengthen, so you’ll be using those overhead lights and lamps with more frequency. Be sure to check all your lighting fixtures to replace burnt-out bulbs and ensure that the bulbs in place are the proper wattage for each fixture.
Practice these tips for fall electrical safety
We at MES want to keep our customers in Eastern Iowa safe, so if we can help you implement any of the above practices in your own home or business, please call us in to help at 563-852-7484.