The importance of electrical safety should not be understated. How often do we try to avoid injuries? Most of us will go out of our way to ensure we don’t get hurt by random situations like falling down slippery staircases or not eating a piece of food that has a slightly off smell to it. So why shouldn’t we put that same caution into something as important as our home’s electrical? After all, we use electric all day, every day, in our homes. From the HVAC that runs to keep spaces comfortable year-round to the outlets we plug our phones into, we, as humans, can’t be without them. For that reason, it’s crucial that the electrical system and all of its components are safe.
You, as a homeowner, should know how to handle each part of your electrical system in a manner that keeps your home or property safe. This could include dealing with a faulty breaker, or an outlet that keeps popping the GFCI test buttons. In this blog, we go over some of the most pertinent tips homeowners should know about electrical safety. We also go over when it’s time to contact a professional electrician like Finnley Electrical for repairs or installations.
The Basics of Electrical Safety
You might be thinking, what is there to know about electrical safety? The answer is, well, quite a lot. The electrical system of your home is extensive. We mean very extensive, including miles of wiring, an electrical panel, lights, outlets, switches, etc. All of these things have to be installed properly to make things work and to keep them from having issues. A seemingly small issue with wiring could lead to the appliance or electronic damage. And who wants to replace a thousand-dollar device if they ordinarily wouldn’t have to?
Tips For Handling Electrical Appliances
Your household appliances are essential. These include refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, washers, dryers, and water heaters. We can all agree that without any of these, life wouldn’t be as easy. Losing your clothes washer, for example, would mean a trip to the Laundromat at least once a week. To avoid this, you’ll want to know how to handle your electrical appliances. You should always make sure they are in good working order. Think back to the last time you used the particular appliance. Did it give you any problems? The second you notice an issue, don’t keep trying to operate the machine. This could lead to catastrophic failure with the appliance. We recommend unplugging the appliance. By doing so, you can minimize the risk of shock. Next, you’ll want to check if there are any frayed cords, cut cords, or any damage from the outlet to the appliance. Never touch electrical with WET HANDS.
Tips For Handling Electrical Outlets And Switches
One of the most common problems electricians sees with outlets is that they are overloaded. This can happen for various reasons, including poor initial placement of outlets throughout the home. If you’re currently dealing with a situation where you need an outlet, but don’t have one, this is certainly time to call the electrician for assistance. By putting new outlets in places that you need them, you can stop overloading outlets, allowing electricity to be passed evenly throughout other outlets.
Something else you should look out for is plugging in more than one surge protection strip on a single outlet. There are typically two plugins on a wall outlet. If you’re using two power strips per outlet, this is far too many. Having multiple things plugged into the power strips or surge protectors and using them at the same time can cause the wiring to get heated, melt, and have the potential for a fire. Also, make sure that cords are not stretched across high-traffic areas or under furniture.
Handling Extension Cords
Are you a fan of extension cords? Most of us are. They give inconvenient devices with short cords the ability to work or charge just about anywhere inside or outside the home. But extension cords can be a hazard for a few reasons. Have you ever tripped over an extension cord? Most have at some point in their life. So what is the obvious solution? People will run extension cords under things like carpets or rugs. But not so fast. This is not a great idea. This can quickly become a fire hazard. Lastly, don’t leave your extension cord plugged in when not in use. Unplug it, and coil it back up for proper storage when not in use.
Dealing With Light Fixtures and Ceiling Fans
Are you attempting to DIY with a light fixture or ceiling fan? It could be something as simple as changing the light bulb. Again, we recommend never messing with any electrical item with wet hands. You should also avoid working near electricity if there is a water leak nearby. If you’ve noticed that your fixtures have been blowing many lightbulbs, this is a sign that something is likely wrong with the wiring, or worse, the electrical panel is being overloaded. Before installing a new fixture, we recommend having someone look at the reason why it keeps blowing light bulbs.
The Electrical Panel
Anytime there is something wrong with the electrical panel, this can be a cause for concern. After all, most of the wiring in your home is run to this location. Frequently tripping circuit breakers could be a sign that something is overloaded. It could also mean that you’re due for an upgrade. Aside from flipping a circuit back to reset, we don’t recommend handling the electrical panel. Other signs of trouble include hearing a buzzing sound at the panel or behind the walls. This could indicate a ground issue, back contact, wires, receiving current that they shouldn’t, etc.
By following these basic electrical safety tips, homeowners can help prevent electrical accidents and protect their homes and families. However, it’s important to note that these tips are just the beginning of electrical safety. If you’re truly concerned with something in your home, such as you found a frayed wire or your electric bill has gone way up in the last few months, we recommend consulting with an electrician.