How To Avoid Common Electrical Problems In Your Home
We consider our homes a safe environment. And in most cases, they are.
Yet we all hear about the exceptions and think to ourselves, could that happen to me?
According to the US Fire Administration, there are 28,600 electrical fires each year, causing over $1 billion in property damage, and responsible for over 300 deaths and 1,100 injuries.
Electrical hazards exist. And if you don’t take care of them promptly, they have every opportunity to turn into larger problems.
If the wiring in your home is more than 30 years old, have it inspected on an annual basis. Faulty wiring is the leading cause of residential fires, and almost always has indicators before a fire occurs. Call an electrician immediately if the lights in your home dim or flicker without explanation, if breakers repeatedly trip, or outlets feel warm to the touch.
Appliances Near Water
Take extra care with appliances around water sources. In places like the kitchen and bathroom, unplug appliances promptly after use. To further reduce risks, make sure you have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protected outlets to avoid shock or electrocution. GFCIs will immediately cut power if it detects someone receives a shock, preventing serious injury. If the outlets near water sources aren’t GFCIs, contact one of our electricians immediately.
High Wattage Light Bulbs
Light fixtures are designed to operate with certain wattage in mind. If you install a higher wattage than the lamp can safely accommodate, you risk overloading the lamp’s wiring, causing it to catch fire. Always be conscious of the maximum wattage for each lighting fixture, and follow guidelines to reduce risk.
Outlets are designed to ensure safety every time they are put to use. If you attach too many things to one outlet, you risk fire. That includes power strips. Plugging high powered devices into a power strip can overload the strip or the outlet. Never plug two power strips together, or plug adapters into the strip. If you use power strips in your home, be sure to choose a model that includes a circuit breaker, so it will trip if it becomes too hot or overloaded.
Operating Unsafe Appliances
If an appliance trips a breaker more than once, consider it unsafe. If it smokes, makes strange sounds, heats up, or doesn’t operate as intended, assume it’s unsafe and discontinue use immediately. If it starts to malfunction while in use, go to the main circuit panel and cut off the power; never unplug the appliance due to unforeseen risk. If you experience a problem, have an electrician check out your home before using again.
Electrical problems can and do exist in your home from time to time. The key is eliminating the hazards before they create damage.
Do you know where the electrical problems exist in your home?