As the weather cools down, we finish raking leaves and closing the pool, it seems like a good time to remind our readers of several tips that are pertinent in the winter months.
- Generators. In Maine, we have snow and ice storms. Sometimes, the power goes out. Don’t get caught without electricity. If you don’t already have one, install a generator.
- Electric blankets. Its nice to snuggle into a nice warm bed on a cold winter night. Although electrical blanket safety has improved, I’m still not an advocate. But I am a realist. If you are going to use one, be sure to do the following: when washing, make sure it is completely dry before use (and never dry clean as the chemicals can cause damage), before plugging it in, check for the blanket and cord for damage; do not tuck the blanket under the mattress or put anything on top; and never fold it while in use.
- Portable heaters. Again, I’m not advocating using electrical heaters, but I know many of you do. If you plan to use one, follow this advice: Some portable space heaters, electric in-wall fan heaters and baseboard heaters have been subject to product recalls – Check your brand and model number and visit www.cpsc.gov for possible information about your heater; keep furniture, drapes, newspapers, etc. a safe distance away; do not use with an extension cord or plug adapter; do not use in wet or moist areas; do not run the cord under a rug; do not leave running in a room with unsupervised children; turn it off when not in use; and keep it on the floor where it has less of a chance of falling over and becoming a fire or shock hazard.
As the holidays draw closer, we’ll also post some tips about holiday lighting. And remember, no matter how many precautions you take, you should always have working fire alarms and a class C fire extinguisher available.