Stay Safe Around Electricity This Winter

Winter Home

As the weather cools during the winter months, electricity usage in the home tends to increase as we spend more time indoors and seek to warm our homes with electrical appliances.

With more pressure on your home’s electrical system, the risk of faults, damage or fire increases, leading into winter is the perfect time to run some simple home maintenance checks, and cover off some basic safety tips!

Maintain Switchboards & Wiring

Switchboards guard against faults in a building’s electrical system, cutting electricity to faulty wiring if an electrical fault occurs – so if a switchboard isn’t maintained or functioning correctly, there is an increased risk of a significant fire occurring.

Watch out for warning signs of failing switchboards or wiring such as circuit-breakers and fuses going out regularly; dimming and flickering lights; buzzing, charred or discoloured outlets and switches; acrid burning smells, or any shocking occurring from switches and outlets.
If you notice any concerning signs, get a qualified electrician in to check your home immediately.

Check Appliances Regularly

Appliances like heaters and electric blankets should be checked as they are brought out of storage each season. It is also important to regularly check all appliances used in the home like irons, toasters, lamps and large appliances like dishwashers, ovens and fridges.

Carefully check cords, plugs and sockets to ensure they are in good condition and have no fraying or other damage – if not in good working order, replace them or have them repaired by an experienced and qualified technician.

Regularly clean appliances to prevent dust build-up, and always unplug appliances before storing, packing them away carefully ensuring cords are not bent or kinked.

Always follow manufacturer instructions for use. Such as using the right wattage of bulb for lighting; not placing appliances in areas with restricted airflow; not using heat-generating appliances in confined spaces or leaving them unattended, and keeping them at least one metre away from clothing, furniture and other flammable items.

Follow The ‘One Socket, One Appliance’ Rule

There have been many reports of fires starting from multiboxes – a lesson learnt the hard way for this Timaru family who lost their entire home and contents in a blaze started by a multibox.
The fire started while the owners were away from home, took 20 firefighters over three hours to put out, and was ignited by an iPhone charger plugged into a multibox in a bedroom.

Follow the ‘one socket, one appliance’ rule, and don’t overload power sockets with double adapters or multiboxes. If you have to use them, ensure you purchase good quality ones, with in-built circuit breakers.
Older homes have not necessarily been designed with our modern and digitally focused lifestyles in mind, so to cope with charging devices, beauty appliances and heaters, consider installing extra power points in strategic areas of your home like the bedrooms, living areas and bathrooms.

Switch It Off

One of the easiest ways to stay safe with electricity is to ensure it is switched off when not in use. If there are appliances like fans that you don’t use over winter, unplug these and store them safely.
Turn off unused gadgets, appliances and equipment when you go to bed at night, or head out for work during the day. If you have lights, heating or other electrical equipment on timers, ensure that these have been supplied, installed and checked by an experienced professional, and are kept well maintained.
Lastly, if you are planning a winter holiday, make sure that you only leave essential electronic equipment plugged in and running when you are away, and if possible, get a neighbour or relative to check on your home in your absence.


With more than 40 years of experience providing electrical services in the Auckland region, French Electrical has a proven history of delivering quality craftsmanship and top-notch customer service.

Ready to book in some all-important maintenance or upgrades? Get in touch with us today for a no-fuss, no strings attached discussion on how we can best help you.

Give us a call on 09 274 8082, email us at or fill out our online enquiry form and a member of the team will be in touch with you shortly.

Winter Hacks to Get the Most Out of your Heat Pump

Are you getting a little hot around the collar because of your power bills? As the weather drops and bills rise, you may wonder: what is the most efficient method to use my heat pump?  Heat pumps are one of the most innovative heating, ventilation, and air...

Seven Easy Ways to Keep the Heat In

Follow these simple tips to keep warm and safe this winter. 1. Wrap up warm Dress in layers and wear a hat, gloves, and scarf. Clothes made from wool, cotton, or fleecy fabrics are warmest. Wear warm socks and slippers to feel cozy while indoors. 2. Keep the cold out...

Loose Outlets & How to Fix Them

Electrical outlets have become an essential part of our everyday lives because all the appliances we use, including televisions, computers, and lamps, depending on them to transmit energy. These plugs also save us from being electrocuted by high-voltage currents. It's...

Power Surges – How to protect your Home

Have you ever wondered why your brand-new TV suddenly stopped working? Maybe you need to blame a power surge? A power surge can reach your home, fry the circuit breaker, and spread to several outlets. If an appliance is plugged directly into the electrical grid, it...

How Office Lighting Can Improve Productivity

There's that cliché image we have in our heads of office spaces: a bubbling water cooler, cramped cubicles, and a flickering fluorescent light. While there is more than one thing wrong with that picture, poor lighting is one that is all too common in office spaces....

How To Prepare for the Seasons?

We don't need to consult the calendar to know what season is upon us. Auckland has got beautiful hot summer days and chilly, sometimes frosty, winter nights. Each one of those seasons is great in its way. We made a small list of things you could consider to make every...

3 Things to Look for When Choosing an Electrician for Your School

From electrical burns to electricians operating under fake identities, the real risk these mishaps pose is to the safety and wellbeing of the students in the schools they were allowed to work in. While choosing an electrician from your home can ultimately come down to...

How To Ensure Your Commercial Property’s Electrical Systems are Compliant

Since commercial buildings are often multi-purpose complexes that are visited and used by many people for various reasons, they require more sophisticated systems to keep them running effectively, compared to private and residential dwellings. There are requirements...

How To Choose An Electrician

When it comes to choosing an electrician, it can be tempting to simply go for the cheapest option, however as Benjamin Franklin said – "the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low prices is forgotten." So, besides price, what else should you...

4 Reasons to Use a Master Electrician for Your next Job

French Electrical is proud to be a member of Master Electricians, the professional trade organisation for electrical contracting businesses in New Zealand. Master Electricians set the benchmark for excellence, ensuring Master Electricians possess and continue to...